• Premier League

Phil Neville happy to drop down the leagues

ESPN staff
March 27, 2013
Phil Neville's contract expires this summer © PA Photos

Everton captain Phil Neville says he would be happy to drop down the divisions in order to continue his playing career.

The 36-year-old's contract at Goodison Park runs out in the summer, and he has yet to be offered a new deal. Neville has made clear in the past he will wait until the end of the season to decide whether he is fit enough to continue playing in the Premier League.

In the meantime, he has accepted a role as part of Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 coaching setup for the European Championship in Israel in June. And the former England international, who is a UEFA qualified coach, has revealed he would think about a move into management, but would like to continue playing as well.

He cites 40-year-old former Netherlands midfielder Edgar Davids, who is player-manager of League Two side Barnet, as an example he would consider following.

Neville told the Liverpool Echo: "I want to continue playing as long as possible so I'm not embarrassed to go down the leagues. I think you can still have as much fun playing in the lower leagues as you can in the Premier League.

"I think it would be good for your experience to coach and manage down there, to go through the types of things that Edgar Davids is going through at the moment because he's been used to the best things in life and now he's got to really coach.

"He won't have 20 balls, he'll probably have five or six, he won't have many cones, they'll be training on a park pitch where there are maybe dogs running across the training pitch and this is where he'll have to learn his trade again."

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