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Stoney to join England Women coaching staff

Stoney announced she will join Phil Neville's staff. Credit: PA

Former England women captain Casey Stoney has announced her retirement from playing in order to take a role in Phil Neville's backroom staff.

The 35-year-old defender made her debut in 2000 and was capped 130 times, scoring six goals.

She said on Twitter: "After 23 incredible years it's time to bid farewell to my playing career and embark on an exciting new chapter.

"I'm delighted to be joining Phil Neville's @Lionesses' backroom team! Weds @LFCLadies game will be my last. I'd like to thank everyone that made my dreams come true..."

Phil Neville linked with England Women manager role

Neville has become an unexpected favourite for the job. Credit: PA

Phil Neville has emerged as a surprise name in the frame to be the next England Women manager.

The Football Association said on Saturday it had no update to offer on the ongoing search for Mark Sampson's successor.

However, Neville has become an unexpected favourite for the job according to several reports, and may have given away his interest in the position by following several senior Lionesses players on social media in recent days.

The former England, Manchester United and Everton player has no experiencing of coaching in the women's game but has had stints on the staff at United and Valencia and possesses the UEFA Pro Licence qualification.

Neville was an interested visitor to an England Women training session last July, when ahead of their Euro 2017 campaign the team trained in Valencia.

He met Sampson at the time and could now step into the role previously occupied by the Welshman, who was sacked in September for what the FA deemed "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in a previous role with Bristol Academy.

The experienced Mo Marley has been in interim charge since Sampson's dismissal and has overseen respective 4-0 and 5-0 World Cup qualifying wins over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kazakhstan. England are well placed to reach next year's tournament in France, for which they are expected to be among the favourites.

The FA's head of women's football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said in October that the plan was for Sampson's permanent successor to be in place by the end of 2017, but that appointment has yet to be made.

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