Phil Neville has been named the manager of the English women football team after meeting his squad for the first time.
Neville met with his new team on Tuesday at their base in La Manga to get to know the players who will be under his charge for the qualification campaign for the 2019 World Cup.
Phil agreed to a two-year contract worth more than £120,000 per year, with the option of extending his stay by another two years. He will be assisted by Casey Stoney, the Liverpool defender who won 129 caps for England, is expected to become Neville’s assistant. She has been the assistant coach to Mo Marley, the current interim head coach.
Neville worked as the first-team coach at his former side Manchester United and assistant at Valencia.
Phil Nevile took to Twitter after following the announcement. The caption read: ‘Extremely proud and honoured to be the head coach of the @Lionesses and I’m unbelievably excited about the challenges ahead!!’
He will have to wait until March 1, for his first game in charge, on March 1, when England face France in the She Believes Cup, a four-nation tournament which is staged in the United States. England will also face Germany, on March 4, before rounding off with a game against the hosts United States, on March.
Lots of people were critical of the FA’s decision to appoint Phil Neville and he is aware that it is not a generally accepted popular decision but he is relishing the chance that has been presented to him and knows this is ‘the best job I could have asked for.’
Phil Neville managed 59 England caps to his name during his playing days, 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 about to do something really special and I know I can take 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.’
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 want to say a big thank you to Mo Marley for her commitment to England, also 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.’