Ex-Hatter Collins hoping to realise his dream of playing in the Premier League with Cardiff

Forward also wants to boost his international chances too

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 8:55 am
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 8:56 am
Former Luton striker James Collins

Forward James Collins is hoping to realise his dream of playing in the Premier League after leaving the Hatters to join Cardiff City last week.

The 30-year-old has featured in all levels of English football from the Championship to League Two during his 12-year career and also spent a season in the Scottish Premier League with Hibernian as well.

Capped eight times by Ireland, the only thing missing from Collins career is a top flight appearance, which is something he is hoping to add with the Bluebirds.

Speaking to the Luton News, he said: “That is the aim of the football club, they want to be in the Premier League, that’s what the gaffer (Mick McCarthy) wants to do and that’s what I want to do.

“I want a chance to play in the Premier League at some stage and I feel like I’ve got loads more to give.

“I’m feeling fitter than ever, I’m in the prime of my career and I feel I can really add to that team and that squad.

“I’m glad that Mick has shown his faith in me.

“It proves that he likes me as a player and it’s always nice to have that off a manager, as I did off Nathan Jones the whole time (at Luton).”

The fact that McCarthy is in the hot-seat at the Cardiff City Stadium was a huge reason behind Collins decision to head to Wales despite having plenty of other offers on the table.

The experienced manager gave Collins his debut for Ireland back in September 2019, as he added: “It was massive, a really, really big part of my decision because I had some decent offers and he’s the one that I was most attracted to.

“I’ve worked with him, I like his style, I like him as a man, he’s straight down the line, and I feel that the way he plays football would suit me too.

“Cardiff City is a massive club, they were in the Premier League a few years ago and made the play-offs last year.

"I just feel at this stage of my career, at 30-years-old, it was too big an opportunity to turn down and I’m really looking forward to getting going.”

Meanwhile, Collins is also hoping that scoring goals for a team pushing for the Premier League can only further his chances of adding to his eight caps and two goals for Ireland.

Named in Stephen Kenny's squad for the upcoming internationals against Andorra and Hungary, he continued: "I’m due to go away with Ireland for 10 days which will be great and if I can start well at Cardiff, stay in the team and score goals then I’m sure that can only enhance my international career.

"I want to play as many games for my country as I can before someone tells me otherwise."

Finally, after spending four years at Kenilworth Road, the longest stint at one club since Collins started out, he admitted there were a few nerves joining up with his new team-mates ahead of the new season, adding: "It’s like being a kid at school again, you go there and I know a couple if lads there so it won’t be too bad.

"But I’ll be moving areas, kids will be moving school, my wife will be moving down there with me and into a new club with new ideas.

"I’ve been so used to the way Luton have been the last four years and for me, they do everything right, and it's been fantastic.

"But I’ve been in the game long enough to know once you’ve earned your stripes at a new club then you get welcomed in."