Captain Sam Collins has a word with onevalefan about being player of the year, his relationship with the fans and why he often visits this very website.
Was it an easy decision to move to Vale Park?
I was absolutely delighted to win all the awards last season, it is always nice to know as a player that you are appreciated by the fans…
It was an easy decision because I knew the quality of the players that were already at Port Vale as I’d played against them so many times. I had also been with the gaffer at Huddersfield and I knew how much of a good manager he is, he is a passionate manager and I like to think I’m a passionate player.
You were overwhelmingly voted onevalefan.co.uk’s player of the season last year and scooped several other supporters’ awards. Were you pleased to see your hard work last season recognised by the fans?
I was absolutely delighted to win all the awards last season, it is always nice to know as a player that you are appreciated by the fans.
I don’t think I have heard any Vale fan with a bad word to say about Sam Collins. Everyone thinks you’ve been an absolutely brilliant signing and you’re fast becoming one of the most popular players in the club’s history. How do you view your relationship with the supporters and are you pleased to be held in such high regard only a year after joining the club?
It’s very flattering to be held in such high regard, I know there are and have been some very good players over the years. The fans have been absolutely brilliant towards me since I have been at the club. The fans are the most important people at football clubs and especially ours because you, the fans, run our club.
Do the Vale players take note of the views of Vale fans on the Internet? Do they read the messageboards and in particular have you ever visited onevalefan.co.uk?
Some of the lads do. I try and look at least two or three times a week, personally I like to know what the fans are thinking. I like to take there views on board and hopefully it will make me a better player.
What are your expectations for the forthcoming season?
The most important thing is that we get off to a good start, stay clear of injuries, and I think then we definitely can look towards the play-offs.
What are your career ambitions?
I would love to play in as high a league as possible, but if not I will always try my hardest in training or matches. But if I did reach the top it would be nice to do it with Vale. If not I would love to come back and play for Vale again.
Who’s been the biggest influence on your career?
My Dad, he was the one who would take me anywhere in the country playing football and he still would now.
Sam Collins. Vale Captain. Were you pleased to be given the captaincy? In what style will you lead the team?
I was absolutely delighted when the gaffer made me club captain. It’s a great honour and I can’t wait for the first game to run out as captain, although we need 11 captains on the pitch. I will try and lead by example but I will also have the up and at them style as well.
Many youngsters visit the site and want to be footballers, can you give them any advice on getting into the game?
Just enjoy yourself as much as possible because there is a lot of pressures in football as you get older.
Just what the secret of that huge long throw? Can you share it with us?
I don’t really know its just something I’ve always been good at.
Finally, on the eve of the season do you have any message for the Vale fans out there across the world following the club on the Internet?
Thanks for all the support that myself and the lads get. Please keep getting behind us because we all appreciate it, and it does act as an extra player.
On behalf of all the viewers of onevalefan.co.uk I’d like to wish you all the best for the new season.
Thank you, all the best.
Sam asked for no payment for this interview. In return for his time, onevalefan will be making a donation to a children’s hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. onevalefan would like to thank Sam for taking the time to speak to us.