SAM Collins has signed a new contact to remain at Hartlepool United - and will also now have additional coaching responsibility.
The centre-half, soon to turn 37, is taking up the role of of assistant first / reserve team coach for the 2014/15 campaign.
Last season he took charge of a number of reserve team games and gained coaching experience at the club, while also taking his coaching badges. He is on his way to gaining his A licence.
Collins started this season as back up to Christian Burgess and Jack Baldwin, but was a regular in the side for the second half of the campaign after Baldwin signed for Peterborough.
“I have ambitions of becoming a manager myself,” Collins admitted.
“That is what I want to do somewhere down the line and I just want to keep getting the experience and learning and listening and then when the time does come, make sure that I am fully prepared because that is what I want to do.
“I just have to get my A licence finished and then I will have everything that I need then, that is the plan at least.’’ Collins signed for Pools for £75,000 from Hull City in January 2008 and has been a regular in the side since, making 260 appearances. He was appointed captain by Danny Wilson and again took the role towards the end of this season in the absence of Antony Sweeney and Neil Austin – two other players who are expected to remain at the club.
Collins’ appointment is aimed to boosting the coaching staff at Victoria Park and won’t affect Colin Cooper’s search for a new assistant manager. Cooper has identified his preferred target and is hopeful of concluding a deal.
Former Pools skipper Peter Hartley, who moved to Stevenage for a nominal fee last August, has been released on a free transfer following relegation. Gary Liddle, the ex-Pools midfielder, has been offered a new deal to stay at Notts County. Neale Cooper, who has twice been Pools' boss in the last decade, has left his role as No 2 at Ross County.