Ben Collins signs scholarship deal with Western United

Western United is delighted to announce Ben Collins has signed a one-year scholarship deal at the Club.

After impressing at centre-back as the captain of the Club’s inaugural NPL squad, Collins has earned his first senior contract at professional level.

Collins said he is immensely proud to have put pen to paper and looks forward to reaching subsequent milestones in his professional career.

“I am delighted to sign my first professional contract,” Collins said. “It has been a dream of mine since I was young and for it to happen now I am extremely excited and thankful to everyone who has helped me achieve this.

“The lads in the change room have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel a part of the team instantly. The togetherness in the change room is something I feel, and I think all the boys are very optimistic about what will be a successful season.

“I am very happy to remain at the club in the A-league Men squad coming up from the youth team and I would like to thank the club as well as all the coaches for giving me the opportunity to do so.

“I have enjoyed every minute at the club and I look forward to the upcoming season.”

Collins has been a consistent presence in pre-season training, making the jump after the suspension of the NPL season.

Head coach John Aloisi said Collins’ quality and maturity on the training pitch have shone through, leading to what he described as a deserved opportunity.

“Ben has really earned his spot here over the last few months. He’s been excellent in training since he came in and we’re delighted to have him,” he said.

“As a defender he is very strong and very determined. Stepping up and defending against our top attacking players in training, he hasn’t looked out of place for a second.

“Myself and the staff are really excited to have his development continue here with us. I’m sure he’ll be able to pick up a lot from the group and we’re hoping to see him have a big impact in the weeks and months to come.”

Collins developed playing junior football at Northcote City before joining United ahead of the NPL 3 campaign at the beginning of the year.

He featured in every match of the season before it was cancelled in October and will look to make his A-League Men debut this season.

Collins is the continuation of United’s strong emphasis on youth development, as he joins Adisu Bayew, Ajak Deu and Rhys Bozinovski in progressing from the NPL side to sign scholarship contracts for this season.