Joshua Walker convinced me to join Bengaluru FC: Michael Collins

Press Release by I-League Media

While the news of Joshua Walker’s injury saw the daylight, Bengaluru FC fans felt clueless. The sturdy midfielder made himself an exuberant part of Bengaluru FC in the last two years and replacing him was not an easy task. Michael Collins, the British midfielder who have plied his trade in various English clubs in the likes of Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Wimbledon FC and many more, has joined the Bengaluru camp to fill in Walker’s shoes and he is not shying away from the humongous task.
The jovial medio joined www.i-league.org over a candid chat and shared his memories of the FA Cup goal against Chelsea, favorite movies, expectation from the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Euro 2016 and many more.

EXCERPTS:
You have scored against Chelsea in the 2008 FA Cup. Would you rate that as the highest point of your career?
As far as individual moments are concerned, that’s right up there because it was against none other than Chelsea, the defending champions. They had the real core of the squad with the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry, and Frank Lampard. Scoring the winner for Huddersfield United against Leeds United was also a significant moment for me, the West Yorkshire Derby always draws thousands of fans and scoring the winner in the derby gave me goose bumps.

How did you motivate yourself to join Bengaluru FC after playing more than 300 games in England?
As a ball player, I always push myself for newer challenges. It was a crucial stage of my career and the gaffer called me. At the back of my mind, I always had a craving to play abroad and explore newer opportunities. Although it makes more sense to stay tight in England with my dear ones, I have packed my baggage and have flown to Bengaluru. Joshua Walker is one of my closest friends and his words played a big part to make the final decision.

What are your goals in the first season with Bengaluru FC?
I prefer to set my goals on a game-to-game basis. Undoubtedly, the first game is the most crucial and then branch out to set goals for myself. I have heard how narrowly we missed the silverware last season, hence, the ultimate goal would be to win it back and I will be out of the world once we make it finally.

What do you expect from the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Euro 2016?
This is our second consecutive appearance in the final stage and Wales have got there as well. It makes the Euros a better competition for the United Kingdom and for Ireland. We have always come up as a surprise package and they will continue to do so. I remember the Republic of Ireland gave Spain a tough run for the money in the FIFA World Cup 2002. Though Spain prevailed over us in the penalty shootout, it’ll always be remembered as one of the finest ones by the Green Army.

Who are your five all-time favorite footballers?
I always try to learn from the world’s best medios. I would pick Steven Gerrard (England), Paul Scholes (England), Xavi Hernandez (Spain), Tugay Kerimoglu (Turkey) and our captain Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland). Definitely, I’m not in a position to judge others but these guys have influenced me a lot since my first days.

What are your hobbies and favorite pastime?
You know, I’m an outright family person and prefer to spend most of my leisure time with my family. Taking my little daughter out for a stroll is always there on my daily to-do list. I love to read as well, mostly the football ones. Actually, I try to grasp every nook and cranny of the game.

Are you a movie buff or a series addict? Which ones would you pick as your favorites?
To be honest, I’ll tick both the boxes. I went crazy about the Bourne Trilogy. In the series, I would mention The Suits, Entourage, and The Office as my favorite ones.

How have your Bengaluru days been so far?
It’s certainly different from England but I have really enjoyed it so far. The fans are very humble and friendly towards me and it really helped me a lot to settle down. I have seen a few matches and I would reiterate that there are outstanding players in the Hero I-League and there isn’t much difference from League One and League Two back in England. If the sport keeps growing in this country, down the line after a few years we’ll see Indian clubs teams and the National Team performing on bigger stages.

How do you like the Indian cuisine?
I am a foodie chap, you know (smiles). I have heard a lot about Indian cuisines and I am really up for trying some of those. The boys have asked me to try out a few restaurants and a few places and in time, I shall certainly check those out.

Bengaluru is renowned for its pubs. Will it help you to unwind yourself during the busy season?
It’s an option for mixing with fans and meeting new people. At the moment, my entire focus is on the next match. Once we triumph the Hero I-League, we might have a blast!

 

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