Shrewsbury sign striker James Collins
Shrewsbury Town have snapped up Aston Villa striker on an 18 month permanent deal. The Irish under 21 international had been on loan at Burton Albion, and his performances there grabbed the attention of fellow League Two side Shrewsbury.
The 20 year old will slot into Shrewsbury’s lineup, where a lack of attacking options has seen them score just once in the last three games. Town manager Graham Turner is delighted to have the young striker on board. “We have watched James on a number of occasions for both Aston Villa and Burton Albion and know what he is capable of,” Turner told the club’s website yesterday.
“We have liked what we have seen and know that he will score goals, which was proven with 5 in 11 starts at Burton. He is a quick, mobile and strong young player who will be a good addition to our squad. James is only 20 years of age and there is good scope for him to continue to improve and we are delighted that he is joining Shrewsbury Town.”
Burton had also been interested in signing Collins on a permanent deal, but Shrewsbury had been keeping an eye on the player. “They were watching me at the start of the season at Villa,” Collins said earlier today. “Nothing came about from it and I ended up going to Burton on loan. Then the gaffer said that once I had been at Burton he liked me and wanted me to sign. So I had a meeting with him and it went from there.”
“I was only on loan at Burton and you could see why I would pick Shrewsbury over Burton really. The gaffer showed me round and told me the intentions of the club and wanting to go forward. I just appealed to me so I thought I would sign.”
He enjoyed his time at Villa, but it was the right time for Collins to leave. “It’s been brilliant, they have looked after me well, and I think the coaching staff there work wonders with the youth team players there. I was never going to play in the first team so I had to move elsewhere.”
Collins is hoping for a fresh start with Shrewsbury, and at just 20 has a big future ahead of him. “I think this club is going forward and hopefully we get promotion, from there we can go higher and higher,” he said. “Hopefully the gaffer will give me an opportunity of playing first team football, and I can get a start and a good run in the side. I can’t wait, it’s my second day of training and my first game tomorrow, hopefully I can get on the pitch and show people what I can do. I met all the boys yesterday and they are a great set of lads, it’s difficult when you first come in and the lads have been great with me, I’ll settle in no problem.”
Collins started today’s 3-1 loss against Morecambe, and will be hoping to do better next time out against Barnet next Saturday.