SAM COLLINS, the former Hartlepool United captain, has been appointed manager of York City.

After an eight-game caretaker spell, in which they lost only once, Collins is the permanent replacement for Martin Gray who was sacked in August.

Collins had three caretaker spells in charge of Pools, and made 244 appearances after signing from Hull City in 2007, but left the club when he was dumped by Dave Jones in March 2017.

He moved to Bradford as youth team coach, before taking up a post at Bootham Crescent in the summer.

"I am absolutely delighted," said Collins, who has former Pools teammate Stuart Parnaby as his assistant and ex-Victoria Park physio Buster Gallagher as part of his backroom team. "It is an opportunity to take this club forward and try to improve everything further.

"A move into football management has been my ambition for a long time. I have served my apprenticeship, I have done my homework, and the time is right now to give it a real good go.

"I have always had plans for what I would do if I got the job on a permanent basis and now we can start to put those plans in place," he said.

"We have introduced new ideas already but now we can really stamp our identity - not just on the team but also on the club as a whole.

"We all want success this season and now we have to keep working hard as staff and players. Hopefully that will take us where we want to go."

Club officials conducted interviews for the post, but opted for Collins and a statement read: “Over the past few weeks, Sam has displayed the ability to take the club forward and fully warrants the opportunity.

Sam Collins has impressed with his organisational skills and work-ethic, his tactical flexibility, and his ability to implement an attractive style of play.

“He has also shown a willingness to promote youth and has galvanised the club's playing staff.’’