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Stephen Mulhern and Emma Willis 9am - 12pm
19 February 2018, 10:55
Former England captain Casey Stoney has announced her retirement from football.
Stoney, whose final match will be for Liverpool Ladies against Sunderland Ladies on Wednesday, will join new England Women head coach Phil Neville's backroom staff for the SheBelieves Cup in the United States next month and the remaining Women's World Cup qualifiers.
England will face France, Germany and the hosts in the annual invitational tournament before playing Wales in a World Cup qualifier at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on April 6.
Stoney, who won 130 caps for England Women, enjoyed great success during her international career and was part of the squad that claimed a bronze medal at the 2015 Women's World Cup. She also captained Team GB at the 2012 Olympics.
"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," said Stoney, who was given an MBE in 2015.
"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."
Stoney's move to team up with Neville is part of the FA's new player-to-coach scheme and also marks the end of her club career which has seen the defender win four FA Cup titles.
The 35-year-old began at Chelsea before moving to Arsenal and then Charlton. She returned to Chelsea in 2007 before she moved to Lincoln four years later and then had a second spell at Arsenal Ladies, where she won her third and fourth Women's FA Cup. She left Arsenal to join Liverpool in 2016.
Neville, who was appointed as the new England head coach last month, is delighted to be able to call upon the experience of Stoney.
"Casey has been a wonderful player for England and I am delighted she will continue to help the team with her new position," Neville said.
"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."
Sue Campbell, FA director of women's football, said about the announcement: "I would like to thank Casey for the immense contribution she has made to women's sport in this country.
"What she has achieved in nearly two decades in the game is remarkable and she has certainly helped pave the way for future generations, particularly in terms of her professionalism and passion. She has simply been the example for others to follow.
"Her new role means she will continue to be such a positive influence on the England team going forward, and it is great to have her leading the way on our new player-to-coach programme. This is such an important area for us as we look to increase coaching opportunities for all."
(c) Sky News 2018: Casey Stoney announces retirement from football