The Cobblers are ‘very positive’ that Lee Collins will be able to play for them in the play-offs despite the defender being given a curfew as part of his punishment for an assault conviction.
Collins was sentenced to 12 months in prison (suspended for 24 months), ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and placed on a curfew for 12 weeks between 8pm and 6am for his part in a pub attack in May of last year.
The terms of the curfew would mean the defender would be unable to play for the club in the first leg of their play-off semi-final, as it kicks off at 7.45pm on Thursday night.
But manager Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed the legal process to allow Collins to feature has begun and is confident he will be able to select the player.
“Part of his sentence is that he will have the curfew, along with lots of other punishments that he needs to deal with,” said Boothroyd.
“I’m led to believe the judge will take into consideration his job.
“If he needed to work a night shift then he would be allowed to work a night shift.
“The legal process has begun and we wait to hear what happens but we’re very positive he will be able to play morning, noon or night.”
Collins has been one of the team’s best players in the past month and will be a valuable member of the team for the play-offs, their opponents in which Northampton will learn after the final round of league games on Saturday.
Boothroyd spoke in Collins’ court case as and did so because he believes the player is essentially a ‘good character’.
“What Lee has got now is a second chance,” he said.
“The incident happened 11 months ago and it has been dealt with in a court of law.
“I was happy to be there to give a character reference because I do think he is a good character and I wanted to speak on his behalf.
“I’m delighted that we got a really good result.
“He loves playing for this club and he loves living here and being part of this club.”