Tracey Neville: My brother and Lionesses must learn from their failures

England Netball head coach Tracey Neville. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

If you want to win gold then you need to accept your failures – that’s Tracey Neville’s message to Phil and the Lionesses.

Neville saw her twin brother come under heavy scrutiny for failing to arrest England’s poor post-World Cup form, the Lionesses only winning two of their seven matches since the semi-final defeat to the USA in July.

Fans aplenty called for the former Manchester United and Everton full-back to be sacked but the England boss is committed to leading his side to success at their home Euro 2021 event.

And if anyone knows what it’s like to be under pressure to achieve in the England hotseat, it’s his very own sister, with Tracey having stepped down from her role in charge of the Vitality Roses after falling short of a first World Cup final with a third-place finish in Liverpool in July.

With Phil’s Lionesses suffering a similar semi-final fate, Tracey is urging her brother to accept that failure could be their stepping stone to success – as long as they learn from it.

She said: “One of the morals and values of our family is that on the road to success, you’re always going to hit failure.

“If you think you can succeed without failing, you’re very naïve.

“Through our careers as athletes, we weren’t successful throughout, but it’s the way you manage that failure to get back on the successful road.

“I’ve witnessed the Lionesses culture and I think they’re making huge ground internally.

“I think they’re doing enough to put themselves in good stead to go out there and win a gold medal at a World Cup or an Olympics.”

Three months after leading England to World Cup bronze, Neville shared an ultrasound on Instagram revealing she and partner Michael Timmins were expecting their first child.

After an intense four-year cycle with the Roses, she knew she needed to take some time for herself, but that doesn’t mean she’s finding life away from the limelight easy.

Not only will she have her eyes on Phil’s Euro 2021 journey, she’ll also be cheering on the Roses every step of the way.

“Now that the Roses are in competition again there’s a bit of jealousy,” she added.

“When you’ve been part of something for five years it’s really hard to stand on the sidelines and watch.

“But they’ve got my hugest support. We created something as a team and I hope they can continue it for the next five years.”