Former Manchester United star Gary Neville named Valencia manager
Gary Neville will take his first steps in management at Valencia after being named head coach for the remainder of the season.
Since the former Manchester United and England defender retired during the 2010/11 season, the 40-year-old has become an acclaimed pundit with Sky Sports and worked as a coach under national team manager Roy Hodgson.
Now Neville will try his hand at management in Spain, having been given the reins at Primera Division outfit Valencia until the end of the season.
In a statement released this afternoon, Neville spoke of his excitment at the appointment:
"I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity with Valencia. Valencia are a huge football club of immense standing and I know from my time as a player the passion and dedication of the Valencia fans," he said.
‘I am really looking forward to working with the club’s talented group of players."
Gary Neville will remain part of England's coaching team despite his appointment as Valencia head coach, England manager Roy Hodgson has said.
Neville's appointment has been welcomed by England manager Hodgson, who has confirmed the new Valencia boss will continue to work with the national team ahead of Euro 2016.
"I'm delighted that Gary has decided to take this excellent opportunity," he said.
"It's the right moment in time for him and I'm 100 per cent behind his decision to join Valencia as the new head coach.
"As far as I'm concerned, this will be an extra string to his bow and the experience he will gain working in the Spanish league can only be beneficial to our work together with the England team.
"Gary's commitment to the FA's preparations for Euro 2016 will not be in any way affected by the fact that he will be coaching abroad during the next five months.
"As someone who has spent a large part of my coaching career working abroad, I salute his decision and hope he gains as much from his time in Spain as I have done from the various countries which I have worked in.
"Like the rest of the England coaching staff, Gary will be fully committed to preparing for the Euros in France and our friendly matches which begin in March against Germany and Holland.
"I wish him and his brother Phil the very best of luck as they prepare for their first match versus Lyon in the Champions League."
Neville will be unveiled at a press conference on Thursday afternoon at 3pm UK time at the Mestalla stadium, where the new Valencia head coach will speak alongside club president Layhoon Chan.
The new head coach officially begins work on Sunday, meaning brother Phil and interim boss Voro will take charge of Saturday's mouth-watering Primera Division clash with Barcelona.
Neville's first match in charge will be the home Champions League clash with Lyon on December 9.
The move means he will leave his role as an analyst with Sky Sports.
He leaves with the "blessings of the company" and the England coach says it is a wrench to leave.
"Sky has probably been one of the best decisions I have ever made, simply an incredible job that I have loved doing," Neville said.
"The team that I have worked with on match days and MNF have been simply unbelievable, their knowledge of the game, their passion, their work ethos has made me love football more.
"No one understands football better than Sky Sports, so it has been no surprise that they have fully supported and understood the decision that I have made to go to Valencia for the next five months."