view Ifil's match-by-match record
Jerel IFIL

Known as "The Beast", Ifil originally signed for Swindon on a three month loan deal from Watford in January 2003, making a total of nine league appearances, four as a substitute. During this period, Ifil mainly appeared on the right side of defence.

At the start of the 2003/2004 season, and with the Town's defence severely lacking in pace, Andy King re-signed Ifil in September 2003, again on loan, this time in order to fill a central defensive role. He immediately impressed in this new position, and with Watford struggling at the bottom of the First Division, they refused Town's request for an extension, and recalled him.

Within a week of Ifil's return to Vicarage Road, King made an offer to sign him on a permanent basis which Watford turned down - and responded by offering Ifil an extended contract, which he signed. Despite this, he made just one substitute appearance for Watford before he was allowed to return for a third loan spell at the County Ground. When the loan period ended, Ifil managed to break into the Watford first team for a short period, but by the end of the season, he found himself in the reserves again.

The long-running saga was finally ended in June 2004, when 75,000 bids from Wycombe and Peterborough for Ifil prompted King to join the race for his signature. Ifil immediately pledged that Swindon were the only Second Division side he would sign for - and with Watford needing cash to replace other players that had left, they accepted the Town's 70,000 bid, which included a sell-on clause. Ifil signed a two year deal, commencing on July 1st, with an option for a third year extension in 2006.

A thigh injury kept Ifil out of the season's opening two games (which were both lost), but he slotted into the centre of defence for the third match against Milton Keynes, and the Town went on a four-game winning run, and he didn't lose his place until early December, when a petulant headbutt on Pawel Abbott of Huddersfield earned Ifil a red card and a three game suspension. On the fourth match of his return, another red card - this time for a professional foul against Bradford, led to another spell on the sidelines.

Though his man-marking was excellent, Ifil suffered from frequent lapses in concentration, and many goals throughout the season were attributed to his mistakes. In February, he lost his place for the first time, being kept out by Matt Heywood - and he remained on the bench for the best part of two months - returning only for two games in this time, a 3-1 defeat at Luton, and a 3-0 defeat at Hartlepool. He did however regain his place for the final five games of the season, when his form improved - Ifil doing great marking jobs on Leroy Lita of Bristol City, Craig Fagan of Hull, and Iain Hume of Tranmere - some of the best forward players in the division.

Unfortunately, Ifil's inconsistency showed itself again on the opening day of the 2005/06 season, when he gave a poor performance and was responsible for Barnsley's first goal in their 2-0 victory - and as Swindon slumped to the bottom of the league in September and October with a long run of defeats, Ifil was one of the more nervy performers, often pumping the ball forward aimlessly instead of keeping possession. Clumsiness also led to a last minute sending off at Doncaster at the end of September - and after he served his suspension, he repeated the feat at Brentford in his second game back, when he was harshly shown red for an innoculous clash with a Brentford forward player. His disciplinary record improved after his return, and his form improved also, with some great last-ditch tackles and blocks as the Town battled to get themselves out of relegation trouble.

After a decent start to 2006 though, Ifil's inconsistency began to creep back into his game, and yet more clumsy bookings led to yet another dismissal - this time with the Town 6-0 down at Nottingham Forest, in a match they went on to lose 7-1 - Ifil himself admitting it was the lowest point in his career. Ifil's suspension period lasted for exactly a month, and though he came back into the side for a crucial home game against Hartlepool, manager Iffy Onuora dropped him for four matches in the Town's run in. By the time Ifil returned to the starting eleven, Swindon were all but relegated to League Two - the relegation being confirmed on his next game back, in a 1-1 draw at Bristol City. Nevertheless, Ifil agreed to sign a year's extension to his contract.

By the time the new season started, Onuora had been given the sack, with Dennis Wise being appointed as the new manager. Wise installed a new regime at the County Ground, and also signed the experienced Adrian Williams to partner Ifil in defence - Ifil seemed to benefit from both the newly found fitness and the experience beside him. During the whole season, the only games he missed were through suspension - his first after he was needlessly sent off at Chester in September for a second bookable offence, earned by kicking the ball away, and then another after picking up his sixth booking of the campaign at Shrewsbury the following month. The Town lost both the matches that he missed. Ifil also finally opened his Town goalscoring account in his 136th appearance for the club - grabbing a late consolation as the Town went down 2-1 despite a spirited performance at Crystal Palace in the Third Round of the FA Cup.

As new manager Paul Sturrock worked on the flaws in Ifil's game, he also recognised that Ifil was becoming better with each game he played - and it was perhaps no coincidence that another sticky patch in March coincided with another Ifil suspension - this time a sending off at Stockport, in a 3-0 defeat, condemning him to the sidelines for three games. Just two matches into his return, a injury-time booking against Shrewsbury took him over the disciplinary limit again, resulting in another two game ban.

Ifil returned though to play a starring role in the last four matches of the season, and crowned it all with his first ever league goal in the all-important final match against Walsall - powering home a bullet header to put the Town 1-0 up against the champions-elect, and though the Saddlers equalised late on, the goal was enough to secure Swindon's automatic promotion slot. The following week, Ifil signed a new three year contract, securing him as a Swindon player until 2010.

Partnering new captain Hasney Aljofree, Ifil continued his good form into the 2007/08 season, and he grabbed the third goal of his Town career in September - scoring the winning goal at the Den as the Town won 2-1 at Millwall. Unfortunately for Ifil though, a bizarre incident at the end of November saw him suspended again - after tangling with Bristol Rovers striker Richard Walker, Ifil was pulled to the ground, and though Ifil was attempting to get back to his feet, Walker grabbed hold of him. Card happy referee Rob Styles mistakenly took the view that Ifil was pinning Walker to the floor, and sent off both players - he went on to dismiss another two in a fiery encounter. This was little consolation for Ifil, who was originally told he would have to sit out five matches - three for the red card, and another two for failing to leave the pitch within thirty seconds - this was eventually reduced to four games on appeal, which was harsh for a crime he didn't commit.

Though he soon returned to the side, Ifil's form through the rest of the season seemed to take a turn for the worse, and towards the end of February, to the fans' surprise, he was dropped from the side to be replaced by new signing Pat Kanyuka. An injury to Kanyuka soon restored Ifil to the starting eleven, and perhaps inspired by the challenge to his position, Ifil's form improved again towards the end of the campaign. This form was rewarded with a international call-up - Ifil being selected for St. Lucia's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala, who he qualified for through his parentage. Unfortunately though, red tape prevented him from participating in the first leg - and the islanders succumbed to a 6-0 defeat.

The 2008/09 season proved to be a difficult one for Ifil. After starting the opening match, a groin problem kept him out of the next two games, then in September, he notched two goals in a week - once in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Aldershot (plus a penalty in the shootout), the other a thunderbolt at Hereford. The following week though, an awful mistake let in Jermaine Beckford to score against Leeds, and despite manager Maurice Malpas stating that no-one would be made a scapegoat for individual errors, Ifil found himself completely out of the squad. An illness to Aljofree meant that Ifil was back in the starting line-up in early October - perhaps earlier than Malpas intended - when Aljofree returned, Ifil was again omitted from the sixteen.

When Malpas was sacked in November, caretaker boss David Byrne named Ifil among the substitutes for his first match in charge - and he received an ovation from Town fans as he warmed up. Ifil later described being "chuffed" at the fans' reaction, feeling like it was the only appreciation he had been getting at the club since he had been out of the side - and he Ifil returned to the starting line-up at the beginning of December, and caretaker Byrne picked him out for praise for his performance against Carlisle - two weeks later though, an own goal by Ifil handed fellow relegation strugglers Yeovil three points at the County Ground.

New manager Danny Wilson continued with Ifil in the side - even naming him as captain towards the end of January, as a new defensive partnership with loan signing Gordon Greer seemed to instill confidence in him. However, a run of two defeats and a draw against bottom club Cheltenham prompted Wilson to pair Greer with promising youngster Sean Morrison - meaning another month on the sidelines for Ifil, before a knee injury to Morrison handed Ifil his place back for the last six games of the season, as the Town avoided relegation.

Perhaps surprisingly, they proved to be Ifil's last games in a Town shirt. After being named on the bench for the opening day game at Gillingham in August 2009 - a match which Swindon lost 5-0 - it was thought that Ifil may be one of those in line for a recall. Instead, he was allowed to go to Hull the following day to play in a friendly match for Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen - two days later, he was released from his Town contract a year early, to allow him to join the Dons.


Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'09/'10 - - - - - - - - - -
'08/'09 28 (+2) 1 - - - - 2 1 30 (+2) 2
'07/'08 39 (+1) 1 2 - 1 - - - 42 (+1) 1
'06/'07 40 1 3 1 1 - 1 - 45 2
'05/'06 34 (+2) - 2 - 1 - 1 - 38 (+2) -
'04/'05 31 (+4) - 2 - 2 - 3 - 38 (+4) -
'03/'04 16 - - - - - - - 16 -
'02/'03 5 (+4) - - - - - - - 5 (+4) -
TOTAL 193 (+13) 3 9 1 5 - 7 1 214 (+13) 5


2 SEP 2003 IN Watford
3 OCT 2003 OUT Watford
(loan return)
18 NOV 2003 IN Watford
19 JAN 2004 OUT Watford
(loan return)
29 JAN 2004 IN Watford
31 MAR 2004 OUT Watford
(loan return)
1 JUL 2004 IN Watford
12 AUG 2009 OUT (released)

full name

Jerel Christopher Ifil



date of birth
27 June 1982


usual positions
central defence

other positions
right back

youth career

senior career
Huddersfield Town (loan)
Bristol Rovers
Kettering Town
Sutton United
Boreham Wood
Staines Town

website links