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Phil Neville lands Under-21 role

ESPN staff
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Phil Neville will join his brother Gary as part of the national team set-up © PA Photos
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Everton captain Phil Neville has been appointed as part of the England Under-21 coaching staff for this summer's European Championships.

Neville, 36, has previously worked with the Under-21s for their 4-0 victory over Belgium in a qualifier in February 2012. Now he has been invited back for the finals and will join his brother Gary, who is part of the season set-up, with the national team.

Neville said: "It is a fantastic opportunity for me to work with the best young players at Under-21 level. I had a little taste of this against Belgium and it was probably the best three days I have had - it was a real eye-opener.

"Those three days told me that coaching is what I really want to do. The thing I noticed about the Under-21s is that there is a great spirit amongst the staff and the players, and there is a real togetherness and determination that they want to win this tournament.

"If I can play a small part and learn from it then it will be great. In tournament football you learn so much. You learn how to handle players in a different environment and how to get the best out of players.

"As a coach it is more intense during a tournament as you have got so many games to watch, videos to prepare and then you have to plan and manage your squad.

"I have been to three major tournaments as a player and to now sample it on the other side will be a great chance for me. I am looking forward to working with the best young players this country has got.''

Under-21s' boss Stuart Pearce added: "Phil is treading a path towards building up his coaching credentials and has demonstrated his commitment to this by taking time out of his own summer to join us in Israel. For the FA it's important to encourage young coaches to take such opportunities and we're pleased that Phil will be with us during the tournament.

"Not only is it a good opportunity for Phil to learn from our environment, but it is also a chance for the young players to work with Phil. Everyone benefits from this arrangement.''

Meanwhile, Pearce knows most of the players he wants to include in his squad for this summer's European Championships - but has stressed there are still places up for grabs.

"You have to bear in mind that we have been in a qualification process now for the best part of two years, so we know who has contributed really well for us," he explained. "But the thing is, at Under-21 level especially, people can come on the scene very late and I wouldn't rule out anybody at this stage.

"It would be fair to say that if I had to jot 18, 19, 20 names down on a list that I hope will be there fitness-wise, we know those. But as I have found out in previous years, there is always one or two people that come in very, very late - Leroy Lita in my first time out had a real late charge, got in the team and had a real impact, and various other players have done exactly the same.''

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