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Tracey Neville of Manchester Thunder.

Tracey Neville is returning to Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) champions Manchester Thunder as Performance Operations Director.

The Commonwealth Games winner with the Vitality Roses returns to the club for the first time since 2015 in what is a newly-created role at Belle Vue.

As well as working alongside Director of Netball and Head Coach Karen Greig on matchdays, she will join the club’s Board and be responsible for developing and putting in place their performance strategy.

Neville was Thunder’s Head Coach between 2011 and 2015, winning the Superleague title in both 2012 and 2014. She was appointed to lead the Vitality Roses in 2015 and took the team to Commonwealth Games glory in 2018.

She stepped down following a bronze medal at the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup has taken a year out of the sport following the birth of her son, Nev.

“Manchester Thunder has been a massive part of my life – as a netball player and a netball coach – so I am thrilled to be asked to play a role with the club once again. I can’t wait to be working alongside a coaching team that is already full of title-winning experience, world class players and long-standing friends,” said Neville.

“In the past 18 months the world has changed – for me and for us all. I’ve missed netball so much, as I know so many are at the moment, so I am excited by the prospect of being back on the bench and coaching world class players once more.”

In addition to joining Greig’s team as a specialist coach, Neville will be joining the Manchester Thunder Board.

The newly created Performance Operations Director role will see her contributing to all aspects of the business as well as overseeing the development of the programme to find the next generation of talented netballers who will be the home-grown stars of the future.

“One of the challenges I really enjoyed with the Roses and England Netball was developing strategies and working with a team of people dedicated to being the best,” she said.

“The opportunity to be not just on the bench but on the board was one I couldn’t turn down. Manchester Thunder as a franchise has always had that determined mentality, and I relish the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to the board as we work to become the number one club in the world.”

Debbie Hallas, Manchester Thunder Managing Director, says signing Neville to return to Thunder is an exciting moment: “There is no better ambassador for the North West, netball or women’s sport than Tracey Neville which is why I am delighted to be welcoming her back to Manchester Thunder.

“Tracey is passionate about developing players – identifying those with potential to make it on court at the highest level and making them the best they can be. She also understands that to be the best you can be on court you need to be the best you can off court too.

“Manchester Thunder is developing as a business at a time when netball is becoming more and more professional as a sport. Her appointment to our Board will accelerate the work we are doing and shows our determination to being the number one club not just in this country but in the world.”

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