STAGS SIGN DEFENDER LEE COLLINS
Commanding Collins is the latest acquisition
mansfieldtown.net, 8th June 2015
Defender pledges his name to the club as part of Adam Murray’s revolution.
Manager Adam Murray has strengthened our squad's defensive rearguard by snapping up commanding defender Lee Collins on a free transfer.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/commanding-collins-is-the-latest-acquisition-2485911.aspx#s8h4UZlwdw2ElOFl.99
The deal will be complete subject to Football League approval
Primarily a centre-back, the 26-year-old will add good versatility to our team as he can also operate comfortably at full-back - if required to do so.
Born in Telford, Collins, who was previously on the books of Northampton Town, has amassed almost 300 appearances during a career which started at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He was on Wolves’ books as a youngster, but gained experienced during loan stints with Hereford United, who he helped to promotion from this level in 2007/08, then Port Vale.
After subsequently signing permanently at Vale Park in January 2009, he featured on 163 occasions during a three-and-a-half-year stay with the club.
The defender played at Sky Bet Championship level during a spell with Barnsley, before spending time on loan at Shrewsbury Town.
In February 2013, he agreed terms with Northampton Town and featured in the League Two Play-Off Final later that season. Ultimately, he made 86 appearances in all competitions for the Cobblers.
“Lee is somebody with a vast amount of experience and is of a great age,” said our boss, who was speaking shortly after sealing the deal.
“He’s someone that was an ever-present last season for Northampton. He’s been there for a few years and been a kingpin in their defence. He knows the league inside out and he’s had success at this level and also played at a higher level.”
Murray added: “I think Northampton fans were a little bit shocked that they let him go and he’s somebody that we’ve fought hard to get.
“To bring Lee into the building is a big one for us. He’ll add good strength, strength in character, and he’s a player that’s very reliable and efficient at this level.
“As a defender, he competes but he can play too. He’s quick and he’s also a leader, so we’ve got a real all-round package with him. We’ve got something which I felt was missing last year and he’s somebody that I believe will bring the best out of others.”
Collins determined to play his part
mansfieldtown.net, 8th June 2015
New signing the latest piece in Adam Murray’s jigsaw.
Commanding centre-half Lee Collins is looking forward to what he hopes will be a successful new chapter in his career, having put pen-to-paper on a contract with us earlier today.
The defender, who has almost 300 appearances to his name, boasts excellent experience at this level following spells with Hereford United, with whom he won promotion, Port Vale for three-and-a-half seasons and most recently Northampton Town.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/collins-determined-to-play-his-part-2486054.aspx#5ZSxmZ3LFDtEPfmK.99
“I came and had a sit down meeting with the manager and coaching staff last week and their plans for going forward really interested me so it was quite an easy decision,” explained the defender.
“They want to play attacking football. They want to give the fans something to be happy about and I was happy with what they were saying. They want to win games, I want to win games and that’s why I’ve come here.”
Describing his playing style and his targets, he continued: “I’m not the tallest centre-half, but I win a lot of headers. I like to read the game and I like to get on the ball as well.
“I don’t know any lad that goes into a fresh season and doesn’t want to get promoted. There’s been a lot of good signings and I want to win a lot of games. If you do that, you’re going to be up there.”
When asked what our boss has said to him, Collins replied: “The manager said he likes me and he likes how he play. He wants me to play and get on the ball and it’s a win-win situation.”
Many Northampton fans were surprised that Collins was allowed to leave the Sixfields Stadium this summer, with the defender having been a lynchpin in their backline over the past few years.
“I sort of got the hint a few weeks before the end of the season that I wasn’t going to be there,” said the 26-year-old.
“I didn’t let it affect my performances, but I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to have to move on. That’s football though - it comes with the territory.”
He added: “I think I played 43 games last year, so I’m obviously coming into this season on the back of quite a busy season and I just want to get back into playing games again.”
One of the appearances that the centre-back made in 2014/15 came in a feisty 1-1 draw at One Call Stadium in February - a day which was dubbed ‘John O’Toole Day’ by the travelling fans.
The Stags opened the scoring early in the second half, but Marc Richards’ stoppage-time spot-kick earned Collins’ former team-mates a point in dramatic circumstances.
“John-Joe O’Toole Day was a big occasion for Northampton fans,” laughed the ex-Cobblers man. “We brought about 1,000 fans and he got sent-off after 30 minutes. I thought we were quite lucky to get away with a 1-1 draw, because you really gave us a game. The [home] fans were definitely passionate and got right behind the team.”
Former Cobblers defender Collins joins Mansfield
northamptonchron.co.uk, by Tom Vickers, Monday 08 June 2015
Former Cobblers centre-back Lee Collins has joined Mansfield Town.
Collins was one of a number of players released by Northampton at the conclusion of last season.
Cobblers boss Chris Wilder admitted at the time that the decision not to offer Collins a new deal at Sixfields was one of his toughest.
And the 26-year-old has now agreed to move to Mansfield, who will be competing with Wilder’s men in Sky Bet League Two next season.
“I had a sit-down meeting with the manager and assistant manager last week and their plans going forward really interested me, so it was an easy decision,” said Collins.
“It will be pretty much a fresh squad and they are going to change the way they play, they want to play attacking football and they want to give the fans something to be happy about, so I was happy with what they were saying.”
Defender Lee Collins says mental strength will be key for Mansfield Town in new season
By Nottingham Post, June 17, 2015
Lee Collins knows what it takes to get out of the bottom tier. And it can be summed up in one word: Strength.
Strength in depth, physical strength and, perhaps most importantly, mental strength.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Defender-Lee-Collins-says-mental-strength-key/story-26717163-detail/story.html#ixzz3dMDj5avU
All qualities he is convinced Mansfield Town possess ahead of the new season.
The defender is astute enough not to equate that with a guarantee Stags will go up, but he does believe they are in good shape.
"I got out of it with Hereford about six years ago," Collins said of League Two.
"It's a very tough league because it's not always the better teams which get out of it.
"Some of the better footballing teams are missing that certain ingredient to get out of it.
"Ultimately, you need a squad, not just a starting XI, with players who are going to put their bodies on the line and give it 100 per cent every game.
"Even though a team might be technically better, you can't turn up and just expect to win.
"You need a strong mentality to compete. Every team hits speed bumps in the season; it's how you deal with that."
Asked what the aim is for Adam Murray's side this season - a campaign which starts at home to Carlisle United - Collins simply said: "We want to win a lot of games. I know that sounds daft.
"The gaffer wants to play football. He doesn't want to play a long ball game.
"He wants a team that's pretty on the eye but is strong in coping with the physical and mental side of the game."
Collins made the switch to the One Call Stadium this summer after two-and-a-half years at Northampton Town.
He has totted up almost 300 appearances in a career which started at Wolves, and hopes to bring some of the knowledge he has accumulated to Murray's squad.
"The players the gaffer has brought in are experienced players, people like myself and (Chris) Beardsley. People who know what it takes to get through the bad patches," said the 26-year-old.
"We've got decent strikers as well, good strikers for this level.
"I was delighted when I saw the likes of Craig Westcarr and Matt Green sign.
"Goals win games. I think that's key in this league.
"The gaffer is a very down to earth man. He talks very well about his plans for the club and getting a team together which has a real unity.
"That was one of the main reasons why I signed."
He is also looking forward to linking up with Ryan Tafazolli in defence.
"I've played against a lot of the players before," said Collins.
"We've got big Taffs at centre-half, who I've played lots of times.
"I've always wondered what certain players are like when you're working with them on a day to day basis. You get to see the other side of their game.
"I think we can play well together but that's not to say that's the only partnership.
"I play well with a big centre-half next to me.
"I was surprised how young he was. He always seems to have been playing for them.
"He's a very gifted centre-half."
Stags return for pre-season training later this month, but with the release of the fixtures, Collins' excitement is already building.
"It's always good to start at home," he said. "And then we've got a local derby as the second game. I always love derbies.
"I've never experienced a Mansfield and Notts one before, but I imagine it's a typical derby.
"I kept an eye on when we're playing Northampton as well. I looked to see who we had in the first game and then when we were playing Northampton."
HISTORICAL STORY, including his salary:
Former Shrewsbury Town footballer Lee Collins has been given a suspended prison sentence for a pub attack that left his victim with a dislocated shoulder.
April 24, 2013
Collins told a judge he was “deeply sorry” for the attack in which he punched and kicked a man who had gone to a Shropshire pub to celebrate his wedding anniversary.
The 24-year-old, from Telford, who was on loan at League One Shrewsbury earlier this season, carried out the attack at Wellington’s Station Hotel pub.
Collins and co-defendant James Mullarky got into an altercation with Donald Campbell. During the attack, 26-year-old Mul-larky threw a pint glass which hit Mr Campbell on the cheek. Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday heard the brawl continued outside the hotel.
The court heard the altercation started when Mr and Mrs Campbell asked Collins - who now earns £600 a week and an additional £200 per game at Northampton Town - and Mullarky to leave their table.
Without warning Collins punched Mr Campbell in the head before throwing more punches. Mullarky then threw the glass at Mr Campbell.
Mr Mark Rees, prosecuting, said: “Outside the pub both defendants punched and kicked Mr Campbell.” Mr Stephen Oldham, for Collins, said the attack was completely out of character and his client was ‘deeply sorry’.
Collins’ manager at Northampton Aidy Boothroyd, who signed the former Thomas Telford School pupil four months ago, told the court: “I’ve found Lee to be a genuine man, very level headed and a good role model.”
Collins, now of Chirk Street, Northampton, and Mullarky, of Teme Avenue, Wellington, previously admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mullarkey was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Collins was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 24 months, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and placed on a curfew for 12 weeks between 8pm and 6am and told to pay Mr Campbell £2,500.
Latest | June 2015