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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Neville Retires From Playing

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

Former Everton captain Phil Neville has announced his retirement from the game.

The 36-year-old has decided to hang up his boots in order to concentrate on pursuing his coaching career and options within the media.

Neville has been away with the England Under-21s at their European Championships working alongside Stuart Pearce.

The former Manchester United man's decision brings the curtain down on an 18-year playing career, eight of which were spent at Goodison Park.

"Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring," joked Neville. "I thought 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon'.

"In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again - at any level. I just wanted to drift away.

"I want to coach, I want to get more hours on the grass.

"I have got two paths - one to go into the media, the other to go into coaching and management. I have got offers from both."

Neville has revealed that it will be not reporting back for pre-seaosn duty that will be the hardest moment for him.

"The biggest thing I will miss is 4 July when Everton are due back for pre-season training. I loved that day. I lived for it, getting back with the lads."

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