Dubliner Collins, 52, succeeds Declan Devine on a one-year contract with former Candystripes’ playing great Peter Hutton coming in as his assistant.
Despite winning the FAI Ford Cup in 2012, Derry failed to build on that success. Devine’s side started the 2013 campaign well, actually leading the Premier Division table for a week in May. However, they slumped in the second half of the season, though a fourth place finish saw them salvage a Europa League place ahead of Shamrock Rovers.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the appointment. It gives me a platform to be able to challenge for trophies again,” said Collins, who won the First Division with Athlone Town this season.
“There is massive potential and there is a hunger there. That’s the key to it. People want success.”
Collins thanked both Monaghan United and Athlone, his two most recent clubs, for the opportunities they gave him.
“But you were always working there to better yourself, no disrespect,” said Collins. “And you can’t get any better than Derry City.”
Hutton, a stalwart of that last Derry side to win the league 16 years ago, was also in the frame, but expressed himself as “delighted to be back at the club” as Collins’ right-hand man.
“I think there’s a real basis of a good squad there and I also think there are exciting times ahead,” said Hutton, who resigned as Finn Harps’ manager at the end of last season.
Collins believes the current Derry squad just needs a little tweaking, and a change in mentality, to challenge strongly next season.
“There is a fantastic group there at the minute. That’s a huge part of it,” said Collins, a double winner in his first chief managerial stint at Bohemians in 2001.”