Tracey Neville to step down as England head coach after Netball World Cup
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 03/06/19 12:35pm
Tracey Neville will step down as England head coach after the Vitality Netball World Cup in July.
The former international has been in charge of England's national side for the past four years, and under her leadership they achieved gold medal success at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the nation's highest-ever ranking.
Following the tournament in July, Neville will take some time away from the game to focus on her personal life.
"Being the Vitality Roses head coach is something I have relished and I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to do," said Neville upon announcing her decision on Monday.
Over the last few months I have sat down with England Netball to look at how I could fulfil my role whilst taking into consideration my personal circumstances. My ambition to have a family is something I want to commit to after the Vitality Netball World Cup.
"The Vitality Roses' future is paramount in my thoughts and plans and I will passionately and wholeheartedly continue to support them and England Netball. I will hopefully get an opportunity to lead again in the future.
"To the staff/players, past and present you have challenged me in every way possible and I am eternally grateful for your commitment and support within the program and on our journey together. Now, to Liverpool!"
Neville's relationship with the national side spans back over many years. She first represented her country in 1993, and achieved 81 international caps during her own international career.
The 42-year-old was appointed as the Roses' interim head coach in March 2015 and took the role on a permanent basis in September of the same year.
"I would like to thank Tracey on behalf of the whole netball family for the phenomenal work she has put in to creating a culture where athletes thrive and ultimately deliver magical and historical moments," said Jo Adams, CEO of England Netball.
"The Roses Programme is in a fantastic place to drive more success and we hope that we can work with Tracey again in the future.
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"We totally support Tracey's decision with regards to her personal circumstances and we will continue to do so but for now our focus is entirely on giving her and the Vitality Roses squad every possible support as they strive to win a home World Cup.
"We hope Tracey will be able to sign off with some more wonderful memories in July and having made today's announcement, hope she is given the space to continue her work with the squad which is her sole focus for now."
Sky Sports expert Tamsin Greenway, who may well be one of the names spoken about as Neville's replacement, believes that the timing of the announcement is positive for the national side.
"I've been asked quite a lot whether I thought that she would continue after the World Cup. If you're a netball coach then it's probably the best job in the country isn't it? Being able to lead your team and your nation," Greenway told Sky Sports News.
"The problem with being the England coach is that it comes in cycles and you want to always see out a four-year cycle.
"Tracey has talked about it being for a family, she wants to start a family and committing to another four years after this would be really difficult.
"The timing [of the announcement] for me is actually perfect, she could have waited until afterwards but the England team won't stop after the World Cup and it's really important that, that team and that leadership carries on through.
"I think that it gives England plenty of time to find a replacement, there's big boots to fill and they need to make sure that they get the right person in place as the team come out of Liverpool."
Under Neville, the Roses have shaken up the world order of netball and have driven forwards at a pace. Through her work, and the achievements of the side, the sport as a whole has greatly benefited, as Greenway added.
"Tracey Neville and this team have changed the game. We'd never won a major competition so to get the gold medal in Australia last year was absolutely incredible, it was historic and the recognition that the team got away from the court as well.
"Tracey's been in that job for four years and the winning mentality of that team has been incredible. Obviously with the publicity and the promotion of netball, she's had a huge influence on that as well. It's a big loss for England today."
Watch every match of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup live on Sky Sports. Coverage starts on Friday, July 12 plus keep up to date with all of the latest competition news, results and enjoy in-depth features at SkySports.com/netball