English League 1

Dunne laying Irish foundations

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Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:35:00

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is keen to speak to Phil Neville about his future.

The 36-year-old called time on his playing career at the end of last season following an eight-year spell at Goodison Park.

He has since been involved in coaching the England U21s side that was knocked out of the European Championships in Israel at the group stage.

Neville must now decide where his future in the game lies and Martinez is convinced he would make a good coach.

"I think Phil Neville is an Everton icon and I think he can bring a lot into his time as a coach," Martinez told evertontv.

"I really want to speak with him and see how he feels about his future."

Neville made his name at Manchester United before joining Everton in 2005 and was named skipper by David Moyes in 2007.

He has sat his coaching badges over the last few seasons but admits he has a big decision to make.

"I have got two paths - one to go into the media, the other to go into coaching and management," Neville said last week.

"I have got offers from both. I will sit down at the end of the tournament."

The U's will conduct individual fitness tests in Essex on Friday before the squad join together to make the short trip to Ireland on Monday for the start of their summer preparations.

Dunne will also use the opportunity to strengthen links with numerous contacts in his native homeland, including coaches and scouts, boosting Colchester's chances of attracting promising talent.

"Going over will give us the chance to have the squad in a closed environment, where we can concentrate fully on what we have to do without any distractions," he told the club's official website.

"The lads will be together all the time as well, giving them the chance to bond again after a summer away from each other."

Dunne added: "I enjoyed a very successful trip there last season where I met representatives from the Irish FA and the Irish PFA, and this trip gives me the chance to further cement those relationships.

"Over the years, plenty of lads from Ireland have made the grade in all the English leagues and we want to be at the front of the queue as a destination for the best players, both now and into the future."

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