Jamilu Collins of German second division side Paderborn has been called up to the senior national team of Nigeria, so who is Jamilu Collins?
Early and personal life
He was born in Kaduna State Nigeria on the 5th of August 1994 and named Jamilu even though his father is from the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. The name was given to him by his mother, who hails from the northern part of Nigeria.
Collins was spotted on the streets of Kaduna State by Football Academy Abuja, an affiliate of Croatian side HNK Rijeka and in 2013 moved to Croatia alongside other players of the Abuja based Academy.
In Croatia, he was loaned out by Rijeka to then third division side Pomorac to help him adjust to life in Europe, he still found games hard to come by? Upon his return to Rijeka and he was subsequently loaned out to Slovenian side NK Krka.
Another loan spell at top division Croatian side HNK Sibenik was next on the card for him but injury saw him miss most of the season although that didn’t stop Rijeka from offering him a two year contract extension.
Despite signing an extension, the club decided to yet again send him on another loan spell; this time around he was sent back to HNK Sibenik and after his loan spell his contract was terminated as the club lost patience in his development as a player.
Collin got married to the mother of his kid and was granted Croatian citizenship and it helped him seal a move to then German third division side Paderborn as none European Union players are not permitted to play in the third division in Germany.
At Paderborn he was a regular as they secure promotion to the second division as champions and after playing in their three games this season; he has been rewarded with a spot in the senior national team of Nigeria.
Not many are aware of the fact that he represented Nigeria at the Toulon Youth Tournament in 2013 U-20 under the guidance of Coach John Obuh but he missed out on selection for the main World Youth tournament after playing in just one game during the preparatory tournament.
Style of play
A left full back but he originally started out as a winger and that has helped him develop into a left wing back like most modern day full backs are called.
He is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and can also whip in crosses with precision. His marking abilities which were the main draw back in his game has been polished in Germany alongside his tactical awareness and movements.
How he was discovered by ‘Black Mourinho’
An insight on the rapid rise Jamilu Collins has been provided by the man who discovered him from the streets of Kaduna five years ago and took him to Football Academy Abuja.
Lawal Dankoli Mohammed who is fondly called Black Mourinho was the first to be alerted to his abilities, and he explained that he never doubted the abilities of the 24 year old even when he was released by Rijeka.
“Collins is a kid I never doubted. He had his rough times but he was always going to make it as a footballer. In 2013 I recommended him to the U-20s unfortunately he didn’t make the squad to the World Youth Championship”, the Coach explained.
Black Mourinho who also groomed Dele Alampasu, Sadiq Umar, Nura Abdullahi, Orji Okonkwo, Kingsley Michael, Theophilus Solomon and Dennis Bonaventure described Collins as a modern day left sided player.
“I spotted him as a winger but I saw his confidence on the ball and decided to try him out as a left full back and he excelled. He has a nice height with a decent speed to blend. Above all he is very comfortable on the ball.
“Maybe his marking in one on one situation still need work but his positional play has improved tremendously, hence he now wins most of his duels. At Paderborn he has grown into a regular “, he concluded.