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Friday, April 12, 2013
Jagielka named Everton captain

Mike Whalley

Phil Jagielka will replace Phil Neville as Everton's captain for next season - with the centre-back warned that he has big shoes to fill.

Neville, 36, announced on Tuesday that he will be leaving when his contract expires at the end of the campaign, after eight years at Goodison Park.

England international Jagielka, 30, has filled in as captain in Neville's absence this season, and manager David Moyes has confirmed that he will take on the role full-time. But Moyes has told the central defender that he has a big act to follow.

He said: "He's been captain when Phil Neville's been out of the team. And Phil Jagielka's play has been excellent. But he's got a big act to follow as a captain. Phil Neville, off the field, is terrific for the players. And he's been a great captain on the field. He will always put the team before himself."

Neville has indicated that he wants to prolong his playing career, despite Moyes' offer of a job on the coaching staff. The manager said: "I've said a lot about Phil Neville over the years. He's been great for Everton. He's been a terrific player and captain, someone who we'll greatly miss, because his influence around the club is really special.

"He's helped me an awful lot in my job, and if he wants to stay and be a part of the staff, there'll definitely be a place for him. I'm sure he'll have a big future in coaching and managing if he thinks the time's right. I think he wants to play for a bit longer. But I think Phil knows what his limitations are as well.

"He's a really honest boy, and he knows when he's not been at it, and he's maybe been a step below his normal level. When that happens, he's the first one to come out and admit that. We're all disappointed he's leaving, but I accept and respect his decision."

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