England netball: Tracey Neville wants World Cup medals

By Nick RoyleBBC Sport
Tracey Neville
Tracey Neville was an England international between 1993 and 2008

England netball interim head coach Tracey Neville wants the veterans in her squad to go out on a high in this summer's World Cup.

Sara Bayman, Jade Clarke, Geva Mentor and Eboni Beckford-Chambers could all retire after the tournament, which will be held in Sydney, Australia in August.

Neville, who replaced Anna Mayes in March, wants her "world-class" players to end their careers with a medal.

England are ranked third in the world behind Australia and New Zealandexternal-link.

"I want them to write the book about how they retire," Neville told BBC Sport.

"I don't think they will be happy to leave the game now, with the performances they are currently putting out on court. I want performances they can be proud of."

England suffered a disappointing Commonwealth Games performance last year that saw them beaten to the bronze medal by Jamaica.

Tracey Neville
Tracey Neville played for England between 1993 and 2008 and is the sister of former England footballers Gary and Phil

Australia and New Zealand have either won or shared victory in all 13 previous World Cup tournaments, and Neville, who is also in charge of Superleague champions Manchester Thunder until the end of the season, accepts that breaking the Australasian dominance will be tough.

"We are a threat to other nations but at the moment, collectively, we are not putting out the performances we need to challenge," she said.

"I think we are lacking team belief, bonding and unity after the disappointment of the Commonwealth Games and I do think I can rebuild that."

UK Sport have set England a performance target of reaching the final in Sydney and Neville accepts that the team could lose its elite performance grant if they fail to win silver in Australia.

"We are reliant on an organisation that had to meet its own criteria and targets to ensure the money is well spent." she said. "We are currently not meeting those goals.

"You've seen the consequences in sports like volleyball. They took a hit, and for the last nine months going into the Olympic Games they literally had no funding."