After weeks of speculation, Phil Neville has been appointed as the new head coach for the England Ladies. The former England full-back has never managed a club before so it will be a demanding challenge for certain.
Having obtained coaching experience from working with other clubs, Neville will have some understanding of what the job is going to entail – but with management being a whole other ball game, it’s not going to be a walk in the park especially with the reputation the England Ladies squad have.
Neville is extremely pleased with his new position and speaking to the BBC said:
“This squad’s on the verge of something special and I believe I can lead them to the next level. I am honoured to be given the chance to lead England,” he added. “With the new coaching team we are putting in place, we can help the players build on their great progress in recent years.”
He also added: “There is no greater honour than representing your country and it will be a privilege to do it again”
Neville tweeted regarding his appointment saying: “Extremely proud and honoured to be the head coach of the @Lionesses and I’m unbelievably excited about the challenges ahead!!”
With Mark Sampson having been dismissed from the role late last year, the Lionesses have been without a leader to support them, so can Phil Neville be the man to do this?
Also speaking to the BBC, the FA’s director of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell said: “I am really pleased we have got Phil and we will build a brilliant tem 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.”
Neville’s first taster of managing the squad in competition will come on the 1st of March where England come head to head with France in the SheBelieves Cup.
Furthermore, the ladies will then take part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup UEFA qualifiers in April, so the first few months in charge for Phil Neville are definitely going to present him with plenty of challenges, but ones that he can of course look forward to.
Neville has signed a deal until 2021, so the next four years will be his oyster in the world of women’s football.