Scottish teams should train more - John Collins questions professionalism

John Collins
John Collins was Celtic assistant manager for two years

Scottish teams suffer from a lack of training, says former Celtic assistant manager John Collins.

Collins, 52, has managed Hibernian and Charleroi and been director of football at Livingston.

The midfielder was one of the few Scots of his generation to play abroad, with Monaco.

"Professional is not just training in the morning and going home at lunchtime, that's not what I class professional," said Collins.

"Especially for your younger players, they should be doing much more than one session a day. They should be doing double sessions regularly.

"All the full-time clubs in Scotland, how many are training in the afternoon if they're playing one game a week?

"I know there's fantastic professionals at Celtic. Players eat, sleep and train correctly but I know there's a lot throughout Scotland that probably don't."

Collins was Celtic's first £1m signing when he joined from Hibs in 1990 and left for France six years later, finishing his career with spells in England with Everton and Fulham. He won 58 caps for Scotland, scoring 12 times and featuring at Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup.

"I thought I was a professional football player until I was 28," he told the BBC's Scottish Football podcast. "I realised that I wasn't a professional footballer until I went to France.

"We were sent away for tests. First one was a heart test seeing how fast you can run, what level you're at for pre-season. Blood was analysed, you were taken into the doctor's office and told, 'this is what you're lacking' - B12, zinc.

"At dinner, there's no fizzy drinks, no cakes, everything's salad, fruit, veg, chicken, fish. We started at 7.30 in the morning for a run. That was my wake-up call.

"Three sessions the first day, two sessions the next, three, two, three, two. Eat, sleep, drink, train. Ten days and then you come back in an unbelievable condition. That's when I realised, this is serious, this is professional. I loved it, I loved training. It pushed me up to another level."

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