Phil Neville has been appointed head coach of England through to the end of the 2021 UEFA Women’s Championship campaign, reports TheFA.com.
The former England, Manchester United and Everton defender will take charge of a new-look coaching set-up being put in place around the senior squad following this week’s training camp in La Manga, Spain.
Neville is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and was previously first-team coach at Manchester United and Valencia. Having also worked with England men’s Under-21s, he impressed The FA with his coaching expertise, his vision for the future and his determination to build on the Lionesses’ rapid rise to be ranked third in the world after successive semi-final appearances at the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 European Championship.
Phil Neville said: “I am honoured to be given the chance to lead England. With the new coaching team we are putting in place, we can help the players build on their great progress in recent years. This squad is on the verge of something special and I believe I can lead them to the next level.
“I can’t wait to get out on the training pitch and down to work with an elite group of players at the top of their game. I am also passionate about working within the wider set-up at St. George’s Park, with influential people such as Mo Marley and Casey Stoney, and with the support of Baroness Sue Campbell and the wider women’s game. There is a commitment to excellence that has paid dividends in recent years and I know we can continue the great growth of women’s football inspired by the Lionesses.
“There is no greater honour than representing your country and it will be a privilege to do it again.”
Neville won 59 caps for England during his playing career and with Manchester United was a regular in the 1998-99 treble-winning campaign. In total, he won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League before joining Everton, where he was club captain and played 303 times.
The recruitment process led by Baroness Sue Campbell had been running since before Christmas with candidates considered from across the world. Mo Marley, who had been managing the squad on an interim basis, will return to leading England women’s development teams including taking a squad to this summer’s U20 World Cup, having decided she did not wish to be considered for the senior role long term.
Baroness Sue Campbell, FA Director of Women’s Football, said: “I am really pleased we have got Phil and we will build a brilliant team around him that covers every base. His enthusiasm, passion and desire for the role impressed us all and once he emerged as a candidate we knew we had the right person for this talented squad.
“The team have come so far in recent times but we knew we needed a winner with innovative ideas and who will fit in well with the dynamic set-up we have at St. George’s Park. With the other coaches we’ll appoint working closely with Phil and complementing his coaching prowess and international experience, we have an exciting team that will help the squad make yet another jump forward.
“I must also pay tribute to Mo Marley for her commitment to England, along with the staff who have worked with the team during this period. We are all looking toward the World Cup next year and making sure this group of players has the very best chance to be successful.”
As part of the changes to the England set-up and the recruitment taking place, The FA is rolling out a new player-to-coach programme for the likes of defender Stoney. The programme aims to give elite women’s players the opportunity to develop as coaches and prepare them for UEFA A and Pro Licence courses.
They will receive individual development plans, mentoring and the chance to work with England Women’s teams across all age groups along with FA WSL clubs. More players will be enrolled in the coming months.
England Women have been in La Manga this week for a training camp ahead of participation in the SheBelieves Cup in the United States in March. Neville’s first match in charge will be against France [Thursday 1 March], before games against Germany [Sunday 4 March] and USA [Wednesday 7 March] respectively. His first home match will be a World Cup qualifier against Wales at St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton on Friday 6 April.
Tickets are on sale for the Wales match, with an early bird offer for adult tickets purchased up to 31 January [standard price £10]. Children and concessions tickets are just £1 and group booking and Charter Standard discounts apply.
Tickets can be purchased at www.TheFA.com/Tickets<http://www.TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 02381 780 780