Back in his early days at Chelsea Collins was part of a Blues side whose run of success in the FA Youth Cup was staggering.
Between 2010 and 2018, the London club appeared in eight finals and won seven of them, including five on the trot from 2014 to 2018.
Collins was on the bench for the club’s 7-6 success over Fulham in 2014 and started in the final victory over Manchester City in the following season, with Chelsea triumphing 5-2 on aggregate in the two-legged final.
It will serve as useful preparation for what lies ahead for Collins this week and hopefully beyond.
He said: “When you play those games at such a young age, they are the biggest tournaments when you are that age and very good to be involved in. Every time that I played in them, I think that I won and it was a great feeling.
“Obviously, the semi-finals are on a much bigger scale for us.”
Released by Chelsea without playing a first-team game for the club, the Southampton-born custodian, 24, is personally driven in his quest to return to the big time in the colours of Barnsley, three games away from the top flight.
Collins, whose Blues contemporaries included the likes of Tammy Abraham, Andreas Christensen, Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke, added: “I was let go by Chelsea for one reason or another and, ideally, you want to end up in the Premier League and, hopefully, I can prove people wrong and get there.
“We are all still young and hungry and our main goal is to play in the Premier League.
“You grow up as a youngster dreaming of playing in the Premier League and for your country and, hopefully one day, I can make that happen.”
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