Phil Neville has confirmed he will be leaving his role as Valencia coach and has revealed he is looking to make the transition into management.
Since hanging up his boots three years ago, the former Manchester United and Everton defender has gained varied experiences across the game.
Neville was part of David Moyes’ backroom team at Old Trafford, having working as a coach with England Under-21s at the European Championship in Israel, and last summer made the surprising move to Valencia.
The 39-year-old experienced a topsy-turvy season in the Primera Division, working under Nuno, interim boss Voro, brother Gary and then Pako Ayestaran, who signed a two-year contract extension to stay on as head coach on Tuesday.
Neville headed back to Valencia the following day and is now planning for a future away from the club.
“I think obviously with the naming of Pako as the manager, I think I will be leaving the club and looking for other opportunities,” he said.
“There are opportunities out there and that is where we are at. It has been a fantastic year but, you know, in football new managers come in, they want to bring their own staff.
“It’s football. Hopefully in the future when I am a manager, I will want to bring my own staff with me.
“That is the case now and it’s time for me to leave Valencia and to grab hold of other opportunities that are going to come my way.”
Neville “loved every minute” of his time with Los Che but is now looking to step into management, with the completion of his Pro Licence just a few weeks away.
“You’ve got to do your process, do all your work and learn about how to be a manager,” he said, speaking at The Three Lions pub in Manchester as part of Carlsberg’s ‘Pubstitutions’ campaign.
“I am still learning, I am still young in term of managerial experience, but the last three years I’ve gathered a lot of information.
“I just feel at the moment maybe my next job I think I’ll probably want to go on my own and be my own man, back myself and my own ability.”
Neville is open about working anywhere in the world having taken the plunge and moved away from Manchester, but “waiting for the right opportunity” is key after his year in Valencia.
“It has been one of the best experiences – and not just of my footballing career,” he said
“The lifestyle, we’ve embraced the culture and I said to the president the other day when I spoke to him about my future, we both agreed that one day I want to go back to Valencia.
“It is a magical, magical city, a fantastic football club and La Liga is the best league in the world to work in.
“I loved every minute of it. To come away from the experience with a language under your belt, with the experience that I’ve had this year would probably take people five years to experience.
“Three or four different managers, unrest with supporters, situations with players, playing against Barcelona and getting beaten 7-0 – these are experiences you can’t buy.
“You can go on every course in the world that you want, but you can’t buy the experience I’ve had this year.
“In terms of my overall development as a coach, hopefully a manager, and as a person, I cannot think of a negative about the whole situation.”