NEILL RETURNS TO THE ROCK

Monday 7th January 2013

FORMER captain Neill Collins was a guest of DFC for last Saturday’s game against Dunfermline Athletic and we caught up with him for an update on his career since leaving the Sons in 2004.

He said: “Its great to be back at the stadium. A lot has changed since I played here and I’m delighted that the team is now in the first division.

“I have fond memories of playing for Dumbarton and it was a great grounding for me in my career.”

Troon-born Neill joined Dumbarton from Queen’s Park in 2002 and stayed for two seasons before securing a move to Sunderland.

During his time at the club he was one of the first recipients of the fans vote as young player of the year and Neil is pictured below with the Dick Jackson Memorial Shield.

He continued: “I’m now at Sheffield United, having played for Hartlepool, Wolves Preston and Leeds United.

“It’s a great place to be at Bramall Lane and I’ve extended my contract to stay until the summer of 2015.

“I’m still learning as a player, in fact the truth is, you never stop learning and under Danny Wilson my game has improved. I’d love to help the Blades get back to the Championship.”

Neil was nursing a face injury he sustained in a recent match against Scunthorpe following a clash of heads with an opposition player.

“Aye, it was a sore one and it turns out I fractured my cheekbone. In fact it’s a triple break,” he said. “I had an operation and I’ll be out of action for a wee while.”

Neill’s manager, Danny Wilson is full of praise for the former Dumbarton man.

He said: “Neill is a warrior so when he goes down and stays down, you know it’s something serious. He showed bravery in the incident as he knew he’d take a knock.”

Being back at Dumbarton, even just for a day, was a humbling experience for the popular defender.

He said: “I’d like to thank DFC for inviting myself and my dad along for lunch. It was a great gesture and just a pity that the recent winning run couldn’t continue against the Pars. Best wishes for the rest of the season.”

Alan Findlay

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