When Scot Ian Cathro left the club after only a year due to personal issues, Nuno’s coaching staff was left one short. Nuno brought with him Cathro, assistant manager Rui Silva and fitness coach Antonio Dias, while legendary goalkeeper coach Ochoterrena was already at the club. Cathro’s role was more of the tactical kind, advising Nuno on Valencia and it’s opponents. While Cathro and Nuno goes back some years, one might question; then why Phil Neville now?
The story is one that started with Peter Lim’s keen interest in the game of football. One team that always stood out to him was Manchester United. Specifically the one containing the Neville brothers and Paul Scholes. This led Lim to build a chain of United themed bars all over Asia, still operating today. Lim is also a close friend of Jorge Mendes, and through the Portuguese, he also met former United man Peter Kenyon, both whom he has shared travels in Asia with. Good people to know to get closer to your favorite team.
A little over a year ago, Peter Lim acquired a 50% stake in the small Manchester area team Salford City. Who owns the other 50%? Well, it is split between Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the two Neville brothers with 10% each! This was the background for a visit back in November where Phil NEville and Scholes visited both Paterna and Mestalla (vs Barcelona).
Just a month ago, the Neville brothers again visited Valencia, then to discuss a future Hotel Football similar to the one just beside Old Trafford, owned between Lim, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Amadeo Salvo made the opposite travel in March to look at the then newly opened hotel in Manchester.
With Valencia bringing on former Manchester United marketing man Peter Draper, the Singaporean owner’s admiration for what United achieved over the years seem to have no end. His friendship with the former United stars will now extend even closer to the pitch.
Valencia have formally announced the arrival of Neville who most recently was David Moyes’ assistant at United. Despite the Scot wanting him with him in San Sebastian, Neville turned down his old boss. Now it seems we know the reason why. Nuno welcomed his new coach, saying:
“Pjil has great experience from the highest competitive level and above all he has knowledge and values that are very clear and which fit nicely into our team and our club, the philosophy we defend: He was always a great team player. We are and want to be a team with capital T, a block. He will help us a lot, I am convinced.”