Former Sheffield United defender takes first steps into management

Former Blades skipper Neill Collins
Former Blades skipper Neill Collins
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Former Sheffield United defender Neill Collins has taken up his first managerial role after being named as head coach of Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The United Soccer League side announced Collins as their new boss on Friday, with the 34 year-old taking charge for the first time on Saturday night when the Rowdies take on Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

Collins made over 400 appearances in British football, 216 of them at United, before making the move to the US two years ago after five years at Bramall Lane.

The Scot has not completely retired from playing but it is expected Collins will put all his energies into his first big coaching position.

“Curtailing my playing career is not an easy decision, but when an opportunity is as good as this one, it’s impossible to turn down,” Collins said. “It’s a fantastic club with many fantastic people behind the scenes and an excellent playing squad. I’m excited about the challenge of taking this club to where I think it should be.”

“I am excited to announce Neill Collins as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies” said club Chairman and CEO Bill Edwards. “I’ve witnessed Neill’s intensity firsthand, and I know everyone in the locker room has immense respect for his ability and work ethic. He’s got the skills, the drive and the attitude to move the club to the top of the table. There are good coaches out there, but I think you can make a great coach by giving someone who already has a passion for the club a chance to lead it to victory. I have great faith in Neill. I know he intends to succeed in his new role with the Rowdies.”