The outgoing England head coach says it remains his ambition to take charge of Team GB at next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo
Phil Neville has reiterated his desire to take Team GB to the rescheduled Olympic Games next summer, despite him being set to leave his post as England head coach in July of next year.
It was announced in April that Neville would step down as the Lionesses’ boss at the end of his contract, with him to be replaced by current Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman, who will take over after taking her home nation to those Games.
The former Manchester United defender was meant to guide Team GB at the Olympics in Tokyo in the summer of 2020, but the Games were pushed back 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Neville is hopeful that, despite being set to leave his job with England, he can still have the opportunity.
“The Olympics is still a massive ambition of mine,” he said.
“I had the World Cup, we had the Euros and we had the Olympics. That was my three-year cycle. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we didn’t have the Euros and we didn’t have the Olympics.
“The [Football Association] know that and the FA have been brilliant in their communication with me in terms of the time frames [of] when they’re going to make the decision. Everything is quite calm and we’re heading towards that.
“I think it will be made quickly. I think from all communications it will be made pretty quickly. I think everybody is on the same page about [the fact that] the players will want to know which manager they will want to impress for their Olympic selection.
“Ultimately, the Olympic selection process probably starts the day the season takes place. You’ve got a nine-month period to get selected for an Olympic squad.
“The FA are in control of it. There’s no sort of panic. We’re in control of the situation and I’d say they will announce the new manager sooner rather than later.”
England’s third place finish at last summer’s Women’s World Cup secured Team GB’s place at the Games, and it was revealed shortly after that Neville would be the man to take that job.
After the mass postponements caused by the coronavirus pandemic, that became less certain, particularly when it was announced that Neville would be leaving the role around the time the Games were to take place.
When Wiegman was announced as England’s new head coach, and it was revealed that she would not take charge of Team GB too, the FA said that decision would be made in due course.
“It’s a tough job to pick a squad when you’ve got so many outstanding players from all four home nations,” Neville added.
“Whether you’re England manager or a manager from out of the four nations, that’s still going to be one of the toughest things to do, to pick 18.
“It’s one that I was excited to do and now it’s obviously a clean slate and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do it next April, June or whenever it is.”
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