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IDEAL FOR IFIL

Phil Ifil is relishing his first team involvement over the pre-season period.

Phil Ifil is relishing his first team involvement over the pre-season period.

The full-back, who made his Premiership debut coming up to three years ago against Liverpool at the age of 17, forced his way back into the first team picture last season and has featured strongly during this preparation period - claiming an secondary assist towards Dimitar Berbatov's winning goal against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

For the former England Under-20 international, it is now a case of performing when given the chance and stating his claim for selection when the season begins.

"I'm out here training hard and working with the First team so all I can do is try my hardest and see where it takes me," said Phil, who is hoping to recover from a knock in time to be available for the Vodacom Challenge Final on Saturday.

"Martin has given me my chance and it is up to me to take it and show him that I should be in the squad.

"It was nice to be involved in a goal, but I am working on my all-round game really.

"The atmosphere has been great out here, I've played in international games and have played at big stadiums in front of big crowds, but this was something different and you can see how passionate they are about football out here.

"So far it has been a very good experience."