Phil Neville announces Everton exit at end of season
Everton captain Phil Neville set to leave club at end of season
Everton captain Phillip Neville has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
A statement on the Everton website confirms the news, but does say that the veteran defender has not decided to retire and will continue to play next season once he has found a club.
Neville expressed his emotion at leaving to the club, putting on record his thanks to everyone involved with the Merseyside outfit.
"I would like to thank the manager, chairman, all of the staff and the players at Everton for their continued support during my time at the club," read the statement.
Neville is in his eighth year at Goodison Park, having currently made 303 appearances. He's scored eight goals, and took over from David Weir as captain in 2007 - a position he still holds.
And, the former England international took time to thanks supporters in particular for their continued support.
"I'd like to pay a special thanks to the fans, who have been amazing over the past eight years and Everton will always have a place in my heart," he added.
Already a member of Stuart Pearce's England U21 coaching squad, he will accompany the side to Israel this summer and then decide his playing future after the tournament.
The ex-Manchester United defender became a regular at Everton after his arrival in 2005, and was an unsurprising choice to take over from Weir.
Neville won Everton's goal of the season last year with his strike against West Brom and regularly spoke of the passion that surrounds the football club.
"It's been an honour to play for and captain Everton Football Club", he concluded.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time on Merseyside and will leave with immense pride."
Neville also joined a select club following his appearance at home to Wigan earlier this season, with the versatile full-back becoming only the seventh player to reach 500 Premier League games.