Liam Collins has played soccer in Ireland, Canada, and the United States, but his time with Inter Nashville FC is an experience that he’s truly cherished.
“It’s been a great experience,” Collins said. “They kind of gave the team to the older players and let us kind of run things, so in general I just really like the coaching staff and the owners, it’s been a really good team to play for.”
Collins has performed at a high level in his time with Inter, as the midfielder was named to the 2017 All-NPSL First Team and helped lead Nashville to the regional semi-final match after upsetting number one seed Miami Fusion FC. The coaches of Inter Nashville FC recognize Collins’ impact on their successful inaugural season and are overall impressed by his skills as a player.
“Liam is the leader on the field and heartbeat of our team,” Head Coach Richard Askey said with regards to Collins. “He is always in control even under extreme pressure and has the ability to hurt the opposition from anywhere on the field with his vision and range of passing.”
“Liam Collins is the best player I have seen play at this level,” Assistant Coach Alan O’Connor said. “Coach Askey and I will be on the bench and at times we just have to laugh at the quality and audacity of his play.”
Collins sums up his play style in a much more understated fashion.
“I try to set the tempo for the team, slow the game up, speed the game up,” Collins continued. “Basically my role is to give the ball to people who can score.”
Collins did just that during his time with the University of Memphis. In his time at the collegiate level, Collins was named All-American Athletic Conference First Team twice and Second Team once. He recorded a conference-best 10 assists in his senior season. In all, he recorded 34 assists for the Tigers and left the school as the all-time leader in the category.
From there Collins has focused a great deal on coaching, as he’s helped with training at the D.C. United Academy as well as with Memphis and Cumberland College. Collins now teaches history and is the head coach at the Missouri Military Academy. He enjoys his time coaching, but is still looking to show what he can do on the field.
“I can still get around the field, so if I can still play I’m going to,” Collins added.
As for this coming season, Collins hopes he can help build on their 2017 success and make an even deeper run in the 2018 campaign.
“We definitely want to keep the success going, and we felt like we could have gone another round (in the playoffs),” Collins said. “But the goal is to try and go on another run.”
Collins is cherishing the chance to continue working as the (relative) underdogs, noting that they probably won’t be the favorites compared to perennial contenders like Chattanooga FC and the New Orleans Jesters, but he’s prepared to show what he and Inter Nashville FC can do.
“We might have a little more of a target on our back this season,” Collins concluded. “But we’re definitely looking to compete.”
With Collins at the heart of the team, look for another strong season from Inter Nashville FC, and a lot of goals set up by their number 10.