Search

Leaving Leyton Orient was the hardest decision of my career, admits popular midfielder Michael Collins

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 January 2018

Michael Collins battles for the ball for Leyton Orient at Mansfield Town last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Michael Collins battles for the ball for Leyton Orient at Mansfield Town last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The former Huddersfield Town ace discusses rejecting a new contract from the O’s and why he expects the club to return to the Football League soon

Michael Collins gets treatment from Leyton Orient physio Josh Birtwisle at Crewe Alexandra last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).Michael Collins gets treatment from Leyton Orient physio Josh Birtwisle at Crewe Alexandra last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Former Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins has admitted leaving the club in the summer was probably the hardest decision he has had to make in his playing career.

The midfielder joined the O’s in October 2016 and impressed during an otherwise terrible season for the team.

After relegation to the National League was confirmed in April, Collins was offered a new deal by old owner Francesco Becchetti.

With Nigel Travis and Kent Teague yet to complete their takeover by June 9, and with the Italian still in charge of the club, the 31-year-old made the decision to reject a new contract from Orient.

Collins went on to retire soon after and accepted a role as Bradford City’s under-18 manager before he dusted off his boots again in December after signing a playing contract with Halifax Town which allowed him to play alongside coaching the Bantams youth.

But when reflecting on the decision to turn down an offer to stay at O’s, he said: “It was probably the hardest decision of my career in the summer because it is no secret I was in talks with Martin Ling and Leyton Orient (before June 9) about potentially staying there.

“It was something I gave serious thought to because it is a great club and there is no denying that. In my opinion it is easily one of the best in the Conference.

“As I said last season, we shouldn’t be talking about them being in the Conference, but it was obviously an unfortunate series of events which happened during a sad period for the club.

Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins wins the ball against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins wins the ball against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

“I do think over time the club will end up back in League One and pushing for the Championship because it is that type of club and when I speak to people at Halifax everyone classes Leyton Orient as a big club.

“The unfortunate thing you get when you drop down to levels like the Conference is the size of your club doesn’t carry any kind of stature and it is a very difficult league.

“As Leyton Orient have found this season, there is no easy game and I’ve noticed that in my six or seven games so far,

“So, it is a challenging league and they didn’t get off to the best of starts, but it is good they have steadied the ship now and picked up some good results.

“It looks like they are heading in the right direction which is the most pleasing thing for everyone after such a troubled time.”

Collins built up a great rapport with the Orient fans during his short stay in E10 with many appreciating his commitment in tough times.

On a number of occasions the former Scunthorpe United captain played through the pain despite O’s relegation being all but confirmed.

It didn’t go unnoticed by the Orient supporters who now hold Collins in the highest of regard despite him only playing 31 times for the club.

Michael Collins shows his frustration while playing for Leyton Orient against Wycombe Wanderers last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).Michael Collins shows his frustration while playing for Leyton Orient against Wycombe Wanderers last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

The former O’s midfielder isn’t part of the set-up at Brisbane Road anymore, but he is thrilled to see good people running it again.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time down there and that’s what made my decision in the summer even harder,” said Collins.

“Leyton Orient’s a great club with a great fanbase and loyal fans, who got put through everything last season and still turned up in their thousands on a weekly basis to show support to the players and that will never be forgotten.

“It is testament to the supporters and the people they are and that’s why I think long-term the club will definitely return to where it should be and hopefully lessons will be learned from that period and it will never happen to the club again.

“It does look like they have the right owners in place now and they will take the club forward and have the club and the supporters’ best interests at heart and that’s the most important thing.

“Obviously it is quite clear under the last regime that wasn’t the case and that’s sad because players come, coaches come and chairman come, but we all go and the ones who are always left are the fans and it is nice there is finally some ownership in place that puts them above everybody else.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 12:49

A man is fighting for his life after he was stabbed in Forest Gate this morning.

Yesterday, 12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

NHS

Throughout this autumn and winter, the south meadow area of West Ham Park, which is managed by the City of London Corporation, is being re-landscaped with funding from the GLA’s Community Grant Scheme.

United Kingdom
Saturday, December 15, 2018

First-half goals from Snodgrass and Antonio settle matters for Hammers

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The 48-year-old discussed the 4-0 victory over Beaconsfield Town and the future of top goalscorer Macauley Bonne

Charlie Lee
Saturday, December 15, 2018

FA Trophy first round: Leyton Orient 4 Beaconsfield Town 0

Josh Coulson
Saturday, December 15, 2018

London Lions earned the capital bragging rights in their first-ever meeting with London City Royals at the Copper Box Arena on Friday.

Bristol
Saturday, December 15, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Met Office

PROMOTED CONTENT

Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now