The Vitality Roses praised outgoing Tracey Neville after securing a bronze medal on home soil at the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 with a convincing victory over South Africa.
Neville departs with another medal after four successful years in the role and legendary goal-keeper Geva Mentor insisted the foundations put in place will benefit her successor: “The important thing with Tracey is that’s she’s set the programme up nicely so whoever takes it on is in good hands.
“It’s just been wonderful to work with her over the past four years and I think she’s really evolved, not just as a coach but as a person too.”
Mentor added: “She’s been fantastic, particularly in these last ten days. Even in the week in the lead up to this tournament, she’s been so relaxed and her personality has really shone.
“I think that’s really shown throughout our team as we’ve been able to relax and just follow her wholeheartedly into battle. We’re really sad to see her go but we wish her all the best for her next chapter.”
Helen Housby has worked with Neville at international level and in the Vitality Netball Superleague and was effusive in her admiration of her. She said: “An amazing game for Tracey to go out on.
“She has been part of this Vitality Roses team for a couple of years now and she’s just brought so much to the job and she’s been my personal coach for many, many years at England and at Manchester Thunder so I’m going to miss her a lot and hopefully, she gets back into coaching one day.
Nat Panagarry made her World Cup debut under Neville’s leadership and expressed her gratitude for everything she has given to her: “For me, Tracey has been incredible. As a north-west girl, I’ve known her since I was 16 years old and have been with her since Leeds. I couldn’t ask for any more from her.
“She’s given me opportunities, she’s given me experiences. I’ve learned so much from her as a coach but also as a person so she gives you that full belief. You can see the national pride that she has and she instils it in all of us. She’ll be sadly missed but we all wish her the absolute best in her personal life. She’s just amazing.”
Neville herself said: “I’ll say it’s never going to be my last game. It’s my last one for the moment.
“I do need to take a career break because I’ve got some personal things I want to achieve and, while I’m in this role, I’m not able to achieve that. However, I have been part of this system for 20 years and I want to be part of it again.”
She continued: “I don’t know what capacity that would be in because hopefully the next coach takes the baton and keeps this rollercoaster going.”