'We wanted something to celebrate' - Neville bows out as England claim Netball World Cup bronze

Yahoo Sport UK
England Head Coach Tracey Neville celebrates to the crowd after winning the Bronze Medal match. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
England Head Coach Tracey Neville celebrates to the crowd after winning the Bronze Medal match. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Outgoing coach Tracey Neville paid tribute to her England side after they cliched a World Cup bronze medal in what was her final match in charge.

Neville, who steps down after four years at the helm with The Roses, ended her tenure on a high beating South Africa 58-42.

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Following a heartbreaking semi-final defeat to New Zealand in their home tournament, Neville admitted England needed to refocus very quickly to secure third place in the competition.

"To come back from yesterday and perform how they did. They finished in a world-class way,” Neville told the BBC.

"Last night they were really flat. We had a team meeting this morning and they started to pick themselves up and they realised when it's the last time they want to make it the best time.

"It was about finishing as the Roses because they know we'll never play together again as a squad.

"We wanted something to celebrate and we've got something to celebrate.”

Tracey Neville embraces her players following their win in her final match. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Tracey Neville embraces her players following their win in her final match. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

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The 47-45 semi-final loss to New Zealand was England’s only defeat in the competition having won all five group matches beforehand, as well as the bronze medal match.

"This tournament has summarised everything about this team,” She added. “They've played world-class netball. To lose only three quarters the whole tournament is amazing.”

Despite failing to land a first ever World Cup with The Roses, Neville signs off having lead the team to Commonwealth gold in 2018.

Earlier this year, she admitted the decision to quit was prompted by her desire to start a family but hasn’t ruled out a return further down the line.

"It was a difficult decision for me to hand in my notice but it was the best decision for me at the time. I always want to come back to the Roses. I want to be part of this squad no matter what.”

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