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Phil Neville's Green dream
SIX-TIME Premier League champion and current Everton captain Phil Neville is already considering his next big move – a return to his first-love with Greenmount Cricket Club.
The Bury-born 36-year-old is not planning his football retirement just yet, believing there are a few more years left in his top-flight career.
But he is not worried about that day coming because it will give him the chance to get back into the cricketing whites he wore with some distinction before opting to join older brother Gary in the Manchester United ranks.
Neville remains the youngest cricketer to represent Lancashire’s second XI at the age of 15 and says his time with “his club” Greenmount in the Bolton League was hugely enjoyable and something he will definitely experience again in the future.
Revealing his dream exclusively to The Bury Times, Neville said: “One hundred per cent, I will play cricket again in a couple of years time if my career ends.
“That is the first thing I am going to do; I am going to get back doing something I love.
“Greenmount is my club and will always be my club.
“People sometimes fear retirement but I am looking forward to it because I can go and do something I love.”
Neville was speaking at the launch of “The Lancashire Way” – a initiative launched by Lancashire County Cricket Club.
He is an ambassador for the scheme which promotes cricket for all.
And hailing from a county he believes is the hotbed of English cricket, he was only too happy to fit time in alongside his footballing commitments with the high-flying Toffees.
And it is that high standard that makes him want to get back to the crease in the years to come.
Neville added: “If you think of cricket in England, the real hotbed is in the North West.
“I’ve played in the Bolton League, the Lancashire and East Lancashire Leagues. That’s where the top international players have had their breeding.
“I played in a Greenmount team when Matthew Hayden and Mark Taylor played.
“Shane Warne played at Haslingden,and Mark Waugh played in the Bolton League as well.
“These players went on to become the best players in the world and the reason is because they played here in the north west leagues.
“They come to the North West because they get a tough, good standard of cricket and we should not lose sight of that.
“Lancashire were obviously looking for ambassadors that had a link to the club in a high-profile position that could help with spreading the gospel of what the club do to get people into cricket.
“When I was asked, there was no hesitation because this is my first love.
“To get the chance at my stage in my life to get back involved with Lancashire County Cricket Club is great because I love going to Old Trafford to watch.
“It brings back so many special memories.”