Soccer

Barnsley appoint Neill Collins as new head coach

Former Sheffield United defender Neill Collins returns to South Yorkshire following a successful spell in the United States (Dave Howarth/PA)
Former Sheffield United defender Neill Collins returns to South Yorkshire following a successful spell in the United States (Dave Howarth/PA) Former Sheffield United defender Neill Collins returns to South Yorkshire following a successful spell in the United States (Dave Howarth/PA)

Barnsley have appointed Neill Collins as their new head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Leeds and Sheffield United defender arrives at Oakwell after Michael Duff left for Swansea.

Last season, Duff took the Tykes to the Sky Bet League One play-off final, where they lost against Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley.

Collins, 39, moves back to South Yorkshire having enjoyed a successful spell in the United States at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be stepping back into the EFL and even more so to be joining a club of this stature,” Collins said on Barnsley’s website.

“Everything I do will be aimed at repaying the faith shown in me by the owners and (chief executive) Khaled (El-Ahmad) 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.”

Collins added: “I would 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.”

Barnsley chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad is confident Collins can take the club forward as they look to challenge for promotion back to the Championship.

“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,” El-Ahmad said.

“The primary focus is now allowing Neill to settle in and begin to build relationships with the staff and players at Oakwell and commence preparations for the upcoming season.”