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17-Year-Old Irish Defender Nathan Collins Impresses In First Stoke Start

Ireland U19s defender Nathan Collins made his first full start for Stoke City in their 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Friday.

Collins played his first full 90 at the heart of the Stoke defence and looked comfortable and assured despite his side suffering defeat.

The defender who was signed by Stoke City from Cherry Orchard had made his first-team debut last week against Swansea coming off the bench in the 3-1 loss.

Stoke’s youngest starter in 22 years, Collins impressed onlookers during the Boro game with many taking to Twitter to praise the young defender.

Stoke manager Nathan Jones is clearly a fan of Collins given the opportunity he has afforded to him at such an early age and speaking after handing the defender his debut off the bench last week, the Potters boss outlined that his age is certainly not an issue.

“I’d have no problem with starting Nathan,” he told StokeSentinel.co.uk.

“I wouldn’t have put him on the bench if he wasn’t ready. We have enough senior pros here we could have played without a problem, but I have no problem with picking him because he’s been in that vein of form.”

The manager added: “He’s trained with us and we were always looking to give him a game before the end of the season because he’s earned that.

“He’s been excellent in training and how he’s done stuff and when he came on at Swansea he didn’t look out of place in any way, shape or form. That’s the confidence of the lad.

“There are certain things he still has to learn and do well, but the future is bright for the boy. He’s only 17 and that’s wonderful for us. Age is not an issue.”

 

Collins has also won a host of caps at international level playing for the U19s on four occasions and the U17s 20 times, captaining the side at the U17s European Championships in 2018.

The 17-year old is certainly someone to look out for as the season draws to a close.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]