Collins relishing Wales return
Danny Collins is eager to put the past behind him after getting a chance to resurrect his Wales career.
Last Updated: 05/10/10 5:50pm
Danny Collins is eager to put the past behind him after being given a chance to resurrect his Wales career.
The Stoke defender has not played for his country since the friendly against Bulgaria in August 2007 after falling out with previous boss John Toshack.
Unlike other players to have crossed Toshack, Collins did not officially announce his retirement from international football but the 30-year-old feared he may never represent his country again.
However, Toshack's departure last month offered hope of adding to his seven caps and Flynn was quick to get in touch after being put in charge for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
Flynn, who is in the frame to become Toshack's permanent successor, was willing to bring Collins back from the international wilderness and named the former Sunderland player in his squad.
"It is good to be back, it's been a while," said the Chester-born defender.
"I had a chat with Brian last week, he came to see how things lay.
"He asked me if I'd retired and I said I hadn't. He asked if I'd come back and I said, 'Of course I would'. I was delighted he asked me.
"Things went on in the past but we have moved on from that.
"I've missed it. Having weekends off watching games and not being part of it is not what you want.
"It's great to come back and hopefully be part of the team that qualifies for a major tournament."
Wales host Bulgaria in Cardiff on Friday before travelling to Switzerland and Collins sees them as crucial games after the Dragons lost their Group G opener in Montenegro last month.
"Aaron (Ramsey) is still out with a broken leg but Gareth (Bale) has become a top player and there is other great talent coming through," he said. "There is good potential.
"We have got two games now that will make or break us in the group.
"If we can come out of Friday's game on top that will give us a boost going to Tuesday night's game in Basle."
Collins made 25 league starts for Stoke last season after a summer switch from Sunderland and he has again held down a regular starting role in a positive start to the current campaign by the Potters.
Stoke are seventh in the table heading into the international break and Collins is enjoying life at the Britannia Stadium under another Welshman in Tony Pulis.
"I'm enjoying my football," Collins added. "We've gone on a bit of a run at Stoke and are five unbeaten.
"It's going really well and that builds confidence. The gaffer is building a strong squad and some players are going to be unhappy when they get left out."