Hunt for Neville’s re­place­ment is down to fi­nal two

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Katie Why­att

The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is down to its fi­nal two can­di­dates in its hunt for Phil Neville’s suc­ces­sor as Eng­land Women head coach, The Daily

Tele­graph un­der­stands. An an­nounce­ment could be made as early as next week, with the gov­ern­ing body in the fi­nal stages of a re­cruit­ment process that drew more than 140 ap­pli­ca­tions.

Jill El­lis, who coached the United States to World Cup glory in 2015 and 2019, is among the favourites for the role.

Since step­ping down in Oc­to­ber 2019, she has worked for US Soc­cer as the fed­er­a­tion’s de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor, over­see­ing youth de­vel­op­ment for the na­tional team.

It is un­der­stood that former Manch­ester City head coach Nick Cush­ing, re­cently ap­pointed as­sis­tant at MLS side New York City, did not ap­ply for the po­si­tion. Manch­ester United man­ager Casey Stoney ap­peared to rule her­self out at the week­end when she told Sky Sports that she saw her­self re­main­ing at the club for the next five to 10 years.

Emma Hayes, man­ager of Women’s Su­per League cham­pi­ons Chelsea, also ap­peared to dis­tance her­self from the role in April when she said: “It’s an hon­our to be linked with the na­tional team – as an older per­son, I’m prob­a­bly more con­sid­ered for en­ter­ing into in­ter­na­tional foot­ball at some point in my life – but right now, I’m ex­tremely happy at Chelsea.”

Neville, 43, said that same month that he planned to leave Eng­land when his con­tract ex­pired in July 2021. His older brother, Gary, said at the time that the “rug’s been pulled un­der [Phil’s] feet” af­ter the Olympics and Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship were moved to 2021 and 2022 re­spec­tively due to Covid-19.

Neville had pre­vi­ously been in line to man­age at both tour­na­ments, with the Eu­ros – which will be hosted by Eng­land – open­ing at Old Traf­ford.

As the lead home na­tion for foot­ball, the English FA will make the fi­nal call on who will man­age the Team GB com­pos­ite side at the resched­uled Tokyo Olympics, but this is not au­to­mat­i­cally the Eng­land man­ager.

It is un­der­stood that the gov­ern­ing body has not yet made a de­ci­sion be­cause one of the two Eng­land can­di­dates would like to lead the Olympic team and the other would not. If the lat­ter is ap­pointed, Neville would be the ob­vi­ous choice – but the FA knows he could be un­avail­able if he has, for in­stance, found an­other job in foot­ball by then.

Neville said in May that he had al­ways had am­bi­tions to move into club foot­ball once his time with Eng­land had ended, but he has been con­sulted in the search for his re­place­ment.

Neville has of­fered to share his knowl­edge with his re­place­ment to help with the han­dover pe­riod.

Strong can­di­date: Jill El­lis, who coached the United States to World Cup glory in 2015 and 2019, is a favourite for Eng­land role

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