Former FC Halifax Town midfielder Michael Collins has been unveiled as the new head coach at League One side Bradford City.
Halifax-born Collins, who signed for Town midway through last season and played an important role in their survival in the National League, has stepped up from his role as the Bantams' Under-18s coach.
The announcement comes hours after it was announced that Collins would move on from The Shay late last night.
Town boss Jamie Fullarton said in a statement: “Due to the change to morning training and Michael’s coaching career progressing at Bradford City, Michael has taken the decision to retire from playing to focus fully on coaching.
"Michael will be missed for his influence on the pitch and in the dressing room but we respect his decision and wish him well. We’ve made it clear that should his situation change then he would be welcomed back to play for FC Halifax Town.”
The appointment effectively calls time on a career that saw Collins represent Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United and Indian Super League side Bengaluru among others. He made six appearances for Ireland Under-21s.
The 32-year-old is a shock appointment as part of a coaching team including Greg Abbott and Martin Drury. Collins told the Bradford City website:
“I’ve been working towards this for a lot of years now. Even when I was playing at Oxford I was coaching locally, and when I was at Leyton Orient I’d be in at Spurs’ training ground as often as I could.
“I’m honoured that (owners) Edin (Rahic) and Stefan (Rupp) have entrusted me with the Head Coach role, but we truly are a team here and I can’t stress that enough. Martin is one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with and Greg’s experience is invaluable for us both.
“We’ve all been fortunate enough to have had the chance to observe the previous managers at the club and we’ve seen first-hand the way that they worked. We can take a lot of positives from what we’ve seen over the last two years."