NEWPORT’S Aaron Collins admits he’s open to offers as his short-term deal at Morecambe comes to an end.

The Newport County AFC academy graduate nearly ruined his old club’s chances of making the League Two play-offs on Saturday but he could even be back at Rodney Parade next season.

Collins scored his eighth goal in 15 appearances for Morecambe as the Shrimps took a shock 1-0 lead over County at the Globe Arena.

The 21-year-old striker could have had a second after the break but he was denied by his former teammate Joe Day and Jamille Matt’s 87th-minute equaliser ensured Michael Flynn’s men stayed in the top seven.

It was the perfect outcome for Collins as he moved to the top of the Morecambe scoring charts, despite only arriving as a free agent in February, and he saw his hometown club make the play-offs.

“It was great to get a goal but I didn’t celebrate it in front of the County fans,” he said.

“Personally, I had to get my goal to get the golden boot here, but I’m playing against my hometown club so I didn’t celebrate out of respect.

“It was weird because I knew they had to win to get into the play-offs and I had to get a goal to get the golden boot.

“Obviously, I’m playing for myself and my team and I always will and thankfully I managed to get my goal.

“And I should have scored more – Joe made some great saves.

“But they managed with the draw to get into the play-offs, so I’m happy for them as well.

“We wanted the win but it’s worked out well for me in the end.”

South Wales Argus:

Collins, who turns 22 later this month, has enjoyed his time in Morecambe after opting to terminate his Wolverhampton Wanderers contract in January.

After frustrating loan moves to Notts County, Tranmere Rovers, Maidstone United, Colchester United and with the Exiles last season, it has been the most productive spell of his career to date.

But Collins is in no rush to decide on his next move.

“I decided to leave Wolves because I didn’t want to go on another loan,” he explained.

“I signed a three-month deal here and [Morecambe manager] Jim [Bentley] has been great for me.

“He’s filled me with confidence and since then I’ve done what I know I’ve been capable of but haven’t been given the chance to do before.

“I’ve managed to get my goals and assists and I’m very happy.”

Asked about his future, he added: “I just signed until the end of the season. I’m a free agent this summer and I’ll see what comes up.

“We’ll see what happens. I’ve enjoyed my time at Morecambe.

“And I’m not saying I’m not coming back, but we’ll see what other options come up and weigh up the pros and cons.”

South Wales Argus:

Could he return for a third spell with County?

Flynn has been a big fan since first seeing Collins play as a 17-year-old.

The Exiles boss was a youth development coach back in 2014 when he intervened to keep the teenager at the club.

Collins had not been offered a scholarship and was on the verge of giving up on a career in football as he took a job at a McDonald’s restaurant in Malpas to cover the costs of travelling to and from training.

Flynn’s intervention led to him signing his first professional contract soon afterwards and Collins sealed a move to Wolves in January 2016.

The manager brought him back on loan in January 2018 and has been impressed with his performances at Morecambe.

“Aaron Collins should have scored a hat-trick and Joe Day kept us in it,” said Flynn after the match on Saturday.

“Aaron’s been in very good form. He’s enjoying it and he’s playing very well.

“He’s probably disappointed with the way it worked out at Wolves but it doesn’t just drop in your lap; you’ve got to work hard and produce the goods, and that’s what he’s done [at Morecambe].”

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