Northampton Town to offer contract to former Port Vale and Barnsley defender

COBBLERS BOUND? - former Port Vale defender Lee Collins
COBBLERS BOUND? - former Port Vale defender Lee Collins

The Cobblers will offer a contract to utility defender Lee Collins in the ‘next few days’, manager Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed.

Collins, who was released by Barnsley in January, played for a Town second string in a win over a Stoke City reserve side on Tuesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old can play at left-back or at centre-back and is available after agreeing a settlement at Oakwell during the transfer window.

He would provide cover across the back, and in particular for Joe Widdowson who is just two bookings away from a two-match suspension having picked up eight yellow cards this season.

League two leaders Port Vale were in the market to sign Collins, who they sold to Barnsley for £50,000 in March 2011, last month but instead brought in former Cobblers left-back Daniel Jones from Sheffield Wednesday.

Boothroyd is confident of agreeing terms with Collins, a player he feels can help the club progress to the next level.

“We had a look at Lee the other day and I like him,” confirmed the Cobblers boss.

“If you’re going to be successful and get out of the division at the right end then you’ve got to get players in who are better than the level you are at.

“Lee certainly is that and we’ll be looking at doing something with him in the next couple of days.”

Collins is not expected to be signed in time for the visit of Rochdale on Saturday (3pm kick-off), a game for which Northampton have no fresh injury concerns.

Defender John Johnson was given some match practice in the game at Stoke, while Roy O’Donovan also played to build his sharpness after a deadline-day move from Coventry City.