32 years of incredible service ends for JC today. What a servant he has been for us.
This afternoon sees James Collins’ long association with Crewe Alexandra Football Club come to an end.
Collins will join FA Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the New Year to take charge of their Under-23 Development Squad and that ends his incredible 32-year career at Crewe.
Local lad, Collins joined the club as a 9 year-old player in the Academy and he progressed through the ranks to make it as a professional footballer and play 30 times for Dario Gradi during our Championship years.
Many older Alex fans may recall his energetic debut against Barnsley at Gresty Road early on in the 1998/99 season and he scored his first senior goal three games later in a 2-1 win over Bradford City.
He later moved to Northwich Victoria following his release from Gresty Road but he continued to coach within the Academy under mentors such as Gradi and current England head coach, Steve Holland.
James later oversaw Youth Team duties with Neil Critchley (now the Under-23 manager of Liverpool) before assisting Steve Davis at first team level. His work behind the scenes certainly helped with the development of players such as Nick Powell, Ash Westwood, Ryan Colclough, Max Clayton and current batch of talent, Harry Pickering, Tom Lowey, Perry Ng, Charlie Kirk and Callum Ainley to name but a few.
Following Steve’s dismissal in January 2017 and the appointment of David Artell as the club’s manager, Collins returned to the Academy where he became the Head of Coaching.
Vastly experienced as a coach, James holds the UEFA Pro licence, UEFA A licence and was one of just 16 selected coaches to graduate on the Level 5 elite coaches’ award.
Everyone at Crewe Alexandra would like to thank James for his incredible service to the Football Club over such a long period.
We wish him all the very best for his new challenge at Molineux.