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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Former Ireland U21 player becomes youngest manager in England's top four divisions

Michael Collins has been named as Bradford City’s new head coach.

Collins in action for Scunthorpe United in 2013.
Collins in action for Scunthorpe United in 2013.
Image: Dave Howarth

FORMER IRELAND UNDERAGE star Michael Collins has been announced as the new head coach of Bradford City, making him the youngest manager in England’s top four divisions.

The 32-year-old takes charge after being promoted from managing the League One side’s U18 team and will be joined by Greg Abbott and Michael Drury as assistant coaches, the club revealed on Monday morning.

Collins made several appearances for Ireland at U21 level in 2007 and 2008 while also enjoying spells with Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Leyton Orient and Indian side Bengaluru during his career.

Having been in charge of the U18 side since July, Collins replaces Simon Grayson and has praised the previous coaching staff.

“I’ve been working towards this for a lot of years now,” the English-born midfielder said in a statement issued by the club. 

“Even when I was playing at Oxford I was coaching locally, and when I was at Leyton Orient I’d be in at Spurs’ training ground as often as I could.

“I’m honoured that Edin and Stefan (the club’s co-owners) have entrusted me with the head coach role, but we truly are a team here and I can’t stress that enough. Martin is one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with and Greg’s experience is invaluable for us both.

“We’ve all been fortunate enough to have had the chance to observe the previous managers at the club and we’ve seen first-hand the way that they worked. We can take a lot of positives from what we’ve seen over the last two years.”

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