Tracey Neville handed head job at Northern Thunder

Tracey Neville
Neville won 81 caps for England

Northern Thunder have appointed Tracey Neville as their director of netball for the new Super League season.

The 34-year-old from Bury joins from Team Northumbria, who finished eighth in the league last season, where she was head coach last year.

"Northern Thunder now are a great team and finished second in the table last year," she told BBC Radio Manchester.

"Hopefully I can bring a lot to Northern Thunder and we can get to the grand final and win this year."

A serious knee problem forced her to quit the game in 2004, but she managed to return in 2007 after intensive rehabilitation to sign for Leeds Carnegie.

Following her retirement from playing she took up a strength and conditioning position at Leeds, before spending last season in charge of Northumbria.

Neville will take charge of her first game in January where Thunder will play in their new home at Wright Robinson Sports Village in East Manchester.

She is the twin sister of Everton midfielder Phil Neville, and her older brother is the former Manchester United right-back Gary, but despite all having successful sports careers she said they did not have forceful parents.

"Everyone thinks our parents are trophy parents but that is definitely not the case," she added.

"I think throughout our lives they've just encouraged us.

"Obviously it's been quite a financial hit on them as they've had to support us.

"We've always been a family who have shown commitment, enjoyment and dedication to our sport and on the back of that people have helped us achieve our best."

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