TOWN boss Peter Jackson is tipping Michael Collins for success with club and country this season.
Jackson rates the 19-year-old Academy product from Halifax very highly and expects him to shine in pre-season before the League I battle proper starts against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on August 6.
"Michael is already well up in the thinking of the Republic of Ireland age-group coaches and he will be looking to establish a first-team place with us this season," said Jackson, who led a training session this morning.
"I have liked him as a player since the first time I saw him and, when he stepped up to the Reserves, he looked very comfortable.
"It wasn't long before I realised he was ready for the first team and he looked just as comfortable at league level.
"I'm delighted we agreed a two-year deal towards the end of last season and no-one will be working harder than Michael to push himself forward.
"He's excellent on the ball, brave in the tackle and he'll be competing with the rest for our midfield places this time."
While Collins aims to impress, three players have been released from the Academy.
Goalkeeper Jacob Giles, defender Chris Evans and striker Joe Shaw have left the junior Galpharm set-up.
Giles, who will be replaced at Town by age-group keeper Simon Eastwood, is believed to be training with UniBond club Bradford Park Avenue.
Evans is understood to have gone into full-time education while Shaw is trying to earn a scholarship in America.
* Town's Carling Cup first-round tie at League I rivals Chesterfield will take place at Saltergate on Wednesday, August 24.
Kick-off will be 15 minutes earlier than normal at 7.30.