POSH SPIC­ING UP COL­LI­SON’S LIFE

Jack is player and boss

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

PETERBOROUGH’S sign­ing of Wales in­ter­na­tional Jack Col­li­son ap­pears shrewd – add in the fact he’ll be man­ag­ing the Un­der-21s as well and they may think they have got the deal of the sum­mer!

The for­mer West Ham prodigy has had a lot of time to pon­der his next move, and Posh know there is a cer­tain amount of risk that comes with sign­ing a midfielder who failed to make a sin­gle ap­pear­ance last year while at Ip­swich af­ter break­ing down in a prac­tice match.

Frus­trat­ing

In­juries have dogged the 26year-old since 2009 when an in­nocu­ous-look­ing fall against Wi­gan dis­lo­cated his right kneecap and changed the course of his blos­som­ing ca­reer at the Bo­leyn Ground.

So much so he’s al­ready taken steps to forge a ca­reer af­ter his play­ing days; in­clud­ing the com­ple­tion of his UEFA B coach­ing badge,a sports jour­nal­ism de­gree at Stafford­shire Univer­sity and the open­ing of the Jack Col­li­son Soc­cer School in Fe­bru­ary.

“There’s noth­ing worse than be­ing out in­jured as a foot­baller,it’s your job and when you can’t do it, it’s very frus­trat­ing,” said Col­li­son, capped 17 times by Wales.

“I’ve had to sit on the side­lines for longer than I would ever have hoped, but that does make you ap­pre­ci­ate things a bit more and I do be­lieve I’ve got a broader out­look on life be­cause of it. I’ve kept my­self busy, and I’m even more grate­ful now I’m back play­ing football. I’m keen to make up for lost time.

“It has been a bit of a kick up the back­side in terms of my over­all ca­reer, and what I will be do­ing af­ter my play­ing ca­reer ends. Man­ag­ing the U21s here at Posh has been a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, and I’m hop­ing my role on the coach­ing side will help me de­velop as a player as well.

“I was speak­ing to the gaffer, Dave Robert­son, about com­ing to Peterborough when I was on the UEFA B coach­ing course and it was some­thing we spoke about. I feel like I’ve got some­thing to of­fer, es­pe­cially to young lads com­ing through look­ing to make that tran­si­tion to the first team be­cause I’ve done that my­self.

“Even­tu­ally, one day, man­age­ment is some­thing I would look to do, but for the time be­ing it is all about play­ing football, and try­ing to learn from the man­ager here.”

Col­li­son should be ap­proach­ing his prime but he knows the lim­i­ta­tions of his body. He read­ily ad­mits he rushed back af­ter his ini­tial in­jury six years ago and has paid for it ever since.

Surgery in 2010 left him out for 14 months and then, af­ter help­ing West Ham re­turn to the Premier League, he was forced to sit out the first three months of the top-flight cam­paign in 2012-13.

Con­fi­dent

It’s been a long road back for Col­li­son but, af­ter start­ing his ca­reer in the Peterborough academy, there is a sense he has come full cir­cle.

“It’s been a re­ally easy place to come in to, it’s a great set-up here and a good man­age­ment team as well which has made it re­ally easy to set­tle,” he added.

“It’s been an up-and­down start, but I’m con­fi­dent in the play­ers we have here. “It’s been great to get a cou­ple of 90 min­utes un­der my belt, I’ve been happy with that. I need to keep pro­gress­ing and drive on.

“The gaffer has been fan­tas­tic with me. I know from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence you don’t want to rush back, but he also wants to get as much as pos­si­ble out of me and it’s go­ing well.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

HEY­DAY: Jack Col­li­son in ac­tion for West Ham against Manch­ester United and, inset, play­ing for Wales

NEW COLOURS: Col­li­son in Peterborough United’s blue

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