We are delighted to announce the appointment of Neill Collins as our new Men’s First Team Head Coach on a two-year deal.
Barnsley FC CEO, Khaled El-Ahmad, commented on the acquisition: “We are happy to be able to bring Neill to Oakwell to work with our staff and continue upon the foundation we implemented at the start of the last campaign.
“The primary focus is now allowing Neil to settle in and begin to build relationships with the staff and players at Oakwell and commence preparations for the upcoming season.”
South Yorkshire is an area not unfamiliar to Collins, having played 216 times for Sheffield United in a five-year spell at Bramall Lane. A long and established playing career in the UK saw the Scot feature for clubs such as Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Hartlepool United.
After a successful career across the leagues, Collins made the switch to the States to finish his playing career with Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USL Championship.
Impressing the hierarchy with his work ethic and attitude, the Scotsman was appointed as Manager of the Florida-based outfit after deciding to hang up his boots in 2018.
In a Covid interrupted 2020 campaign, ‘The Rowdies’ finished top of the table and reached the final of the resulting play-off tournament, only for the final to be called off due to Covid infections amongst members of his side.
At the end of the 2021 season, Collins was awarded USL Championship Coach of the Year after guiding the team to 23 wins in the Eastern Conference, just missing out on a title when losing in the final.
Upon joining the Reds, Collins spoke of his excitement towards the project that lies ahead: “First of all, I’d like to say a huge thanks to the Tampa Bay Rowdies for supporting me in exploring this opportunity. Without all the staff and players incredible hard work this would not have been possible.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be stepping back in to the EFL and even more so to be joining a club of this stature. Everything I do will be aimed at repaying the faith showed in me by the owners and Khaled and of course giving the Barnsley faithful a team that they can be proud of.
“I am fortunate to be working with a squad that just achieved a play-off final but understand there is a lot of work to be done if we want to replicate that success and go a step further.
“I can’t wait to get started and work on getting this club back to where it belongs.”