Bev Priestman supplies the detail in England double act with Phil Neville

England’s assistant coach is enjoying working with ‘the most open guy I’ve ever met’ at the Women’s World Cup

Television footage of Phil Neville at France 2019 frequently captures images of England’s manager deep in conversation with a diminutive blond woman in her early 30s. Her name is Bev Priestman, she grew up in Consett, County Durham and, as a teenager, attended virtually every training session presided over by a bright young university lecturer and part-time futsal coach called John Herdman.

When Herdman landed a big break and emigrated to New Zealand to work for that country’s football association, Priestman – by then a University of Liverpool graduate who had played for Mo Marley’s Everton – followed him, literally to the other side of the world. The pair would later move to Canada where, among assorted development roles, Priestman served as Herdman’s first lieutenant in his job as manager of the women’s national team.

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