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Hythe Town striker Frannie Collin on leaving Margate and why he didn't choose Ashford United

By Steve Tervet

Frannie Collin has revealed he had a choice of two Kent clubs when he knew he was leaving Margate.

Collin departed Hartsdown Park last week alongside Alex Flisher, Jack Paxman and Tom Mills.

He signed for Hythe Town but also had the chance to team up with Tommy Warrilow at Ashford United.

Frannie Collin has left Margate to sign for Hythe Town
Frannie Collin has left Margate to sign for Hythe Town

Collin said: "I spoke to Tom as soon as the season finished but the problem was that the injury I had in the last few months of the season was an impact injury from the pitch that we trained on.

"I just didn’t want to do another year on 3G and it’s quite a firm surface at Ashford so I didn’t want it to affect the amount of games I could get out on the pitch.

"Especially knowing Tom (who managed Collin at Tonbridge), I didn’t want to sign a deal and get myself injured a month into the season and be in a similar situation.

"That had a bearing on it as well."

Collin spent two years at Margate, who appointed Jay Saunders as their permanent manager last Monday after finishing the season in interim charge.

He'd been in touch with Hythe boss Sam Denly previously and was happy to put pen to paper at Reachfields.

"It was in the pipeline," Collin said. "I’ve known Sam for quite a while and he actually spoke about me joining last summer.

"I was halfway through a two-year deal at Margate but with Watty (Steve Watt) moving on, we didn’t know management-wise what was going to be happening.

"All of us that were on two-year deals got told that if we wanted to, the club would have happily let us leave and they wouldn’t hold us to the two years.

Frannie Collin during his time at Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps
Frannie Collin during his time at Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps

"I spoke to him then but with Mike (Sandmann) coming in, I decided to stay and have another year with Margate.

"It was a bit weird with Jay. We thought he was going but then he came back so I’ve been speaking to Sam for a little while.

"I spoke to Jay and it just went from there really. Jay said 'there’s a budget cut happening and quite a few of the older boys are going to have to move on' so it went hand in hand.

"Sam made me an offer pretty much as soon as the season finished. It was so up in the air what was happening with the manager at Margate.

"Jay was obviously going to be the manager, then we got told a week before the end of the season he wasn’t going to be the manager and the first I heard about Jay being reinstated as manager was when I saw it online. As far as I’m aware, none of the other boys knew it was happening either so it must have been something that was crashed out pretty quick.

"Jay had already asked me to stay towards the end of the season but he said 'the situation’s changed and if you stay you’re going to have to take a lot less money, the budget’s being cut and the board are going to go with a younger squad so that’s what we’re going to have to work with.'

"I’d not enjoyed the last six months of the season. I had a lot of injuries so it wasn’t a bad thing for me to move on anyway.

"It was always between Ashford and Hythe – and I was quite happy to get it done."

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