DAN COLLIER feels Plymouth Albion fans never got to see the best of him during his first spell at the club.
The 30-year-old lock spent three seasons at Brickfields between 2009 and 2012 and made 43 league and cup appearances for the club, of which 26 were starts.
That figure would almost certainly have been higher had it not been for a shoulder injury, pneumonia, ankle ligament damage and a number of other niggling injuries.
But he is now back at the club and is determined to prove a point to supporters and director of rugby Graham Dawe, who has given him a chance to relaunch his career.
“I have been training hard,” he said. “I feel fitter than I used to be and I am injury-free, which is the main thing for me, because I have got unfinished business here.”
Londoner Collier admitted he contacted Dawe because he wanted to return to the club and work with him again after a short spell out of the game.
“I played for Ealing (in the Championship during 2013/14) but they got relegated,” said Collier. “I then went and played at Esher just for a little bit. But I had a lot of problems at home and so I took a bit of time off. I rested and recuperated.
“Then I heard Graham was back here and so I was like ‘ah boss, how about I come down and give you a hand and help you out because I have got unfinished business there and I like to play for you’.”
Dawe has made no secret that he believes Collier, who has also played for London Welsh and Manchester, has plenty of talent. The 6ft 6in forward admits that does give him confidence and he feels Dawe can get the best out of him.
“It’s nice when someone has faith in you,” he said. “It is a massive thing. He’s got confidence in me and I have in him. It works two ways.
“The first time I met him I knew I would like working with him. He’s very forward and up front but he’s very honest.”
Collier, though, knows after Dawe’s praise of his abilities and the offer of a one-year deal, he is under pressure to deliver.
“At the end of the day I have to perform this year, but that’s a good thing because I never really got to show what I can actually do to all the fans,” he said.
“Obviously, people saw glimpses but they didn’t see me have a full, good season.
“Now it is time to turn up the volume and get stuck in.”
Herbie Stupple is the only player left from Collier’s first spell at the club, although Okehampton player-coach Gareth Evans is attending odd sessions as a guest with a couple of his players.
Collier, though, is loving it back at Brickfields.
“I am enjoying it,” he said.
“It’s good because it is a fresh bunch of lads. We are all going to bond a little bit closer because everyone is new, which I think is a good thing.
“If you have a team that has already been here, it gets a bit clicky. You have your certain little groups, but now it is a new lot of players and everyone is bonding and getting on the same hymn sheet.
“And I am the grandad here now. The good thing is they are all young and I’m trying to catch them up. If I can get to their level at 30, then I’ll be doing all right.”