In a surprising announcement Phil Neville was unveiled as the new head coach of England's womens national team, No 1 in Europe and No 3 in the World despite no previous experience with the womens game and little coaching experience altogether. He met up with the squad this week at the training camp in La Manga, Spain, in preparation for an upcoming SHE BELIEVES CUP with USA, France and Germany in March, in Columbus OH, Harrison NJ and Orlando FL.
Unsurprisingly it was not met with universal applause. He and other members of the Man United CLASS OF '92 are part owners and run Salford FC, a non-league club that is going places. He played 602 times for United. He coached Salford in one match. He has a UEFA badge and was assisting his brother Gary in their disaseterous few months in charge of Valencia in La Liga.
He still lives there and his 15 year old son Harvey Neville is an exciting prospect with the Valencia youth team and has Man City and Man United keeping a close eye on his progress. The Nevilles are a close knit sporting family. Twin sister Tracey Neville is the national coach of the English womens netball team, at present third in the world behind Australia and New Zealand. Father Neville Neville passed away a couple of years ago in Australia supporting England in the Netball World Championships, and he and his wife ran Bury FC in Greater Manchester in the Football League.
Mo Marley has been in temporary charge for two World Cup qualifying matches, home victories over Bosnia & Herzegovinia (4-0) and Kazakhstan(5-0) and a friendly 2-1 loss to France. This after Mark Sampson was sacked the day after I watched The Three Lionesses thrash Russia 6-0 at Prenton Park, Birkenhead, home of Merseysides third club Tranmere Rovers last September.
Ms Marley took herself out of contention and will remain as development director, based at St. Georges Park near Burton on Trent. The top three contenders who were offered the job backed out after signing new contracts with Chelsea Ladies(Emma Hayes), Manchester City (Nick Cushing) and in the case of John Hardman, the British coach of Canada's National team, signed a contract with the Canadian men's team.
Phil will be assisted by former national team standout Casey Stoner and with Mo Marley also in the team. Baroness Sue Campbell has given them her full support. He has had to delete his sexist tweets from 2012. He has been appointed until after the Euros in 2011 on a salary of around £120,000 a year, similar to what Sampson earned. It may not seem very much, considering many male players earn that much in a week and England' s mens coach Gareth Southgate earns upwards of £3 million.
The 41 year old delated his twitter account and has been warned of his future conduct which would face serious disciplinary action if repeated. The F.A.s CEO Martin Glenn said that the search for a new coach had spanned 30 countries. providing 145 candidates further reduced to a long list of 47 and a short list of six who were all interviewed.