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Oct 10, 2012

Phil Neville: I want to be a manager

Everton captain Phil Neville has said he wants to become a manager when he retires from playing.

• Felaini to miss three weeks
• Moyes targets top four

Neville, 35, has no plans to give up playing yet, but wants to move in to coaching when that time comes.

The defender, whose brother Gary is part of the England coaching set-up, gained experience working with Stuart Pearce's Under-21 side during the summer.

And he told the Daily Telegraph: "The bottom line is that I want to be a coach. I want to be a manager. That's my love.

"I spent three days with the England Under-21s over the summer and it was the best three days I've had in football. It inspired me.

"I watched a match and the manager said to me: 'Give me two things at half-time we need to improve on.' Well, the whole first half I must have written down 100 things. I was that nervous I was shaking.

"It was a totally new experience. I did come up with the two, eventually. It made my mind up: I want to become a manager, definitely."

Neville, who joined Everton from Manchester United in 2005, plans to take his coaching badges before attempting to make the jump into management.

He hopes that the FA's new National Football Centre at St George's Park in Staffordshire will help bring through the next generation of coaches.

"I'm not going to make mistake of thinking I can become a manager without having done everything possible beforehand to learn, study, get my badges," he said.

The development at St George's Park will aim to make the most of cutting-edge sports science techniques, but Neville believes the fundamentals of coaching have changed little in the two decades since he began learning his trade in Manchester United's youth team.

"I think the basics are still the same - they haven't changed," he said. "Yes, sports science is important. My sister is a sports scientist and I chew her ears off for knowledge. But it's a small percentage. Yes, I'm a stats nerd. But I think the stats just back up your naked eye.

"The most important thing is to get out there and practise kicking a football."

Neville emerged from the same Manchester United youth set-up as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, all of whom have carried on playing into their late 30s.

The Everton captain credits Eric Harrison, who was their United youth coach, for instilling the values that enabled them to have long careers.

"It's the extra bits that do that, the extra that makes you a champion," he said. "I think we're looking at probably the best crop of good young players coming through our academies for ages.

"But if they want to have the careers we have, I think they need to do more, more training, more of everything. That's what we were taught by Eric Harrison when we were 16: do more. If you've got a 15-minute session, stay on and do 20. If you've got two days off, take one."

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