Hartlepool United’s Collins aims to start new season well

Sam Collins.

Sam Collins.

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SAM Collins admits he was “devastated” last season finished when it did and insists he is looking to come back firing on all cylinders.

The Hartlepool United player coach was arguably playing some of his finest football since arriving at Victoria Park six years ago after returning to Colin Cooper’s team following the sale of Jack Baldwin.

Collins admits he was pleased with his own form and says the Sky Bet League Two season finished at the “wrong time” on a personal note, after starting all 18 matches following Baldwin’s move to Peterborough United.

Prior to January, Collins, who turns 37 today, had to make do with a place on the bench but turned back the clock with some fine defensive displays on his return.

Birthday boy Collins is now looking to come back firing when the Pools camp return to training on Tuesday, July 1 and will be keeping himself fit over the summer playing various sports.

Collins said: “From a personal point of view I was devastated the season finished when it did.

“Obviously I didn’t get in the team properly until after Christmas and then managed to string together a few games and was really enjoying it.

“The season finished at a bad time for me really because I’d had a good run but I’m looking forward to coming back firing.”

Pontefract-born Collins, who signed a new player coach contract at the club this summer, is a fitness fanatic and a keen triathlete.

He said he will be looking to keep himself in top condition over the summer break, ahead of the return to pre-season at Pools’ Maiden Castle base in Durham.

Collins said: “I love keeping myself fit, whether it is with the family or doing stuff on my own.

“I love going out on my bike, playing golf, going swimming and playing loads of different sports that will keep me busy and get me prepared to go again when we return to pre-season in July.

“It is something I am looking forward to already.”