Tracey Neville leaves huge void for England Netball to fill, says Tamsin Greenway

Last Updated: 06/06/19 10:15am

Tracey Neville "changed the game", according to Tamsin Greenway

Tamsin Greenway says the job of replacing Tracey Neville and preparing England for their next four-year cycle may need more than one person and refused to completely rule herself out of the running.

On Monday, Neville announced she will step down as England's head coach after this summer's World Cup.

With a host of players potentially coming towards the end of their Roses careers, Neville moving on and the spotlight on the sport being stronger than ever before, the next four-year cycle be challenging.

The cycle will feature a Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 followed by a Netball World Cup in South Africa in 2023. Greenway believes that there's plenty to consider for the next cycle.

"It will be about a new start and a new journey and that might not be always results driven at the start," Greenway told Sky Sports.

"We have to be realistic. I should imagine that there are going to be some players retiring [post World Cup] that are world class that also aided netball's journey.

"So for this next coach, it's not just going to be about performance. It's going to be about how you can develop [players] as well. England have to think really carefully about who they want that next person to be.

"You only have to look at other sports, would you have ever wanted the Manchester United job after Sir Alex Ferguson?

"The reality is that Tracey has gone in there and changed the game. She's won the first ever gold medal and she's taken England up in the rankings."

Greenway is well-versed in the demands of coaching and playing at the elite level. As a result, she is one of the individuals whose names are being discussed widely on social media as potential candidates.

"When you're an elite coach or an elite player the dream is England isn't it? So, if you're asking what my dream job would be, it would be to coach England - of course it would be," said Greenway.

"I've done everything that I wanted to achieve at Superleague and if that opportunity ever arose, it would be really difficult to turn down.

"However it's all about timing, it's all about the right person for the job. When you talk about a family, I've got my own to balance.

"I think that there will be plenty of people that will put their hands up for the job. Being the person that I am, I would never rule myself out but whether it's the right time or whether I'd ever get asked, who knows?"

After opening up about the potential of stepping into the conversation and mix herself, Greenway was very clear about an aspect of decision-making that England Netball must consider.

"I'd like to see a British coach take the role because I honestly think that the development of this next group of players is going to be key," Greenway made clear.

"That can't just be somebody that's going to come in and give tactical help. They've got to produce a whole group of players that are going to step into some big shoes eventually.

Neville has led England to unprecedented success over the past four years (Credit: Eliza Morgan)

"I don't think that age is necessarily an issue. Experience does matter because this won't just be about a performing team and about who's going to be passionate and give some tactics. They're going to have to build a whole new group to take on this next journey.

"So, someone has got to take on both of those sets and that might be difficult. It might be a partnership?

"The likes of Karen Atkinson have got to be up there for a nod, for exactly that. She's got the right temperament, she's definitely got the netball brain, she knows how to work and develop with players. There's a few when you start looking at English names; Kat Ratnapala... Sara Bayman...

"Whoever takes on this role, it's about how they are supported as well. It might not just be about just one key person, it might be about how they build a group together."

Tamsin Greenway discusses Tracey Neville's successor/s

England are arriving at this home World Cup with a 12-player squad that has 827 caps between them. Half of the squad have been to two or more World Cup competitions with Geva Mentor and Jade Clarke having been to four previous editions.

Neville has led their charge since turning an interim role into a permanent one in 2015 and despite the enormity of the announcement to the netballing world, Greenway doesn't believe that it will impact the Roses' preparations or performance.

"I actually think some of the comments have been quite interesting about the timing of the announcement saying, is it a good time to announce it before the World Cup?

"Look, this is not going to affect the players professionally going out onto the court and the reality is that there will be several players in that group thinking about the same kind of decision.

"When I decided to leave Wasps, I said to the players six months out and we still went on to win the title because I owed them that.

"The reality is, I think that it's actually a really good decision from Tracey Neville [to announce now] to help out England. They have now got time to put something in place."

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