I'm still a player so I can't join Roy, insists Neville… but a coaching career awaits
21:30 GMT, 22 May 2012
A career in coaching beckons for Phil Neville and he has become even more determined to follow that path ever since receiving a surprise call from Stuart Pearce.
Back in February, Neville was invited by Pearce to join the England Under 21 set-up for the Euro 2013 qualifier against Belgium and, such was the impression he made, it would be no surprise if there was a similar offer in the future.
‘To go away with the Under 21s was an amazing opportunity,’ he said. ‘I see David Moyes and other managers being obsessed with detail and sometimes think, “Switch off”, but you can’t.
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‘Those three days were a perfect learning experience. It also made me realise what a special thing being involved for your country was.’
Neville, 35, was mooted as a candidate to join Roy Hodgson’s staff for Euro 2012 but the role went to his brother, Gary, and the Everton captain insisted he was never in the running.
‘It was an honour to be linked but there was no approach,’ he said. ‘I am still a player. I think it would have been impossible for me to do it.’