Former England captain and Liverpool defender Casey Stoney has announced her retirement from football.
The 35-year-old, who won 130 international caps for the Lionesses, will now join new national team manager Phil Neville’s backroom team.
Stoney, who played for the likes of Arsenal, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Lincoln and Liverpool during her club career, also captained Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic Games and was part of the England squad that won a bronze medal at the 2015 FIFA World Cup finals in Canada.
However, after deciding to hang up her boots, she will join ex-Manchester United defender Neville’s coaching staff at the SheBelieves Cup in the United States from next month.
Her switch to the Lionesses’ backroom is part of the FA’s new player-to-coach scheme, and becomes Neville’s first coaching appointment since taking on his new role back in late-January.
Stoney said, “Although I am sad to be hanging up my boots, I do so proud of what I have achieved and with great optimism about what the future holds for the women’s game.
“With that in mind, I am hugely excited about starting my next chapter as part of Phil Neville’s Lionesses backroom team.
“I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Phil, who is an excellent choice to take the women’s game forward.
“I talked to him at length before accepting the job and was hugely impressed with his vision, passion and eagerness to learn.
“I will be doing everything possible to support him alongside finishing my coaching badges.”
Manager Neville, 41, added, “Casey has been a wonderful player for England and I am delighted she will continue to help the team with her new position.
“She has tremendous knowledge of the game and will be invaluable in helping us to take the team up another level.
“From working with her already and seeing at first hand the hunger she has to pass on her experience, I am sure Casey will go on to have a coaching career that rivals what she did on the pitch.”
Written by Dan Church Follow @DJChurch94