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"He's getting beaten 6-0, 8-0 and he's crying on the pitch" - David Collins on his son Nathan

Nathan Collins' dad explains how his son was always extremely competitive.

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

18:16 16 Jun 2022



Nathan Collins' father, David Collins, joined The Football Show to discuss his son's career.

Surpassing Roy Keane, Robbie Keane and Paul McGrath as Ireland's greatest ever footballer in one movement. Equaling Virgil Van Dijk's composure but adding Franz Beckenbauer's technique. Nathan Collins did it all on Tuesday night against Ukraine.

Well, not quite that.

But the Burnley central defender capped off four very impressive displays for Ireland with a world class goal. He announced himself as a long-term starter for Ireland, a building block on a team that is full of young, long-term starters. Stephen Kenny is proud of him. His teammates are proud of him.

Nobody is more proud of him than his dad though.

David Collins joined Off The Ball to trace back the footballing development of his young son. Long before he was breaking into the Burnley team and contending for player of the months in the Premier League, Collins was building his resilience by enduring the lows of sport.

Resilience and a willingness to compete for every single inch he was given.

"He just had it in him," Collins said.

"He was so competitive. We'd be doing drills out the back when Nathan was four and Josh was eight. And he'd be so competitive he'd try to beat him in the drills. You can say it's the second child syndrome or whatever it is but it's in everything in life he was so competitive."

Competing with his brother Josh, who has his own career as a professional footballer was one thing, but David Collins recalls how his son first acted when he ventured into competitive football. Most six-year-olds will cry or throw temper tantrum at some stage during their games.

Nathan Collins cried, but it wasn't as part of a temper tantrum. Instead, it was a sign of the fight that was in him.

The fight that Ireland fans have witnessed all through the last four games.

"I saw him in matches as a young lad and he's getting beaten 6-0, 8-0 and he's crying on the pitch. And he's fighting and he just won't give up...I'm looking at him thinking 'This guy has an attitude that you cannot coach.' You just cannot. He just went beyond me as he grew older.

"I couldn't fulfill what he needed."

How England lost to Hungary

 

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