Roddy Collins has stepped down as Floriana coach, only six months after taking over the Premier League club.

Citing family reasons for his decision to resign, Collins has been travelling between Dublin to Malta these past few months.

Floriana FC officials seemed surprised by the news of Collins's resignation yesterday and top club committee member Joe Cauchi even told The Times that they were sure the Irishman would be on the bench for Friday's league match against Qormi.

"It was a very hard decision but I couldn't continue to coach Floriana in the present circumstances," Collins told The Times from his home in Dublin.

"I couldn't move my family to Malta for several reasons and because of this I couldn't give my 100 per cent commitment to the club. On the other hand, I was spending a lot of time away from my family and this situation was far from ideal for everyone."

Collins, 48, had previously coached Bohemians, Carlisle United and Shamrock Rovers before accepting the Floriana job last June.

The team had a rather shaky start in the Premier League but Collins soon steadied ship and Floriana climbed up to fifth place in the standings and are in a good position to claim a berth in the Championship Pool.

On Sunday, Collins was on the bench as Floriana extended their positive run with a win over strugglers Msida St Joseph, albeit thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Orosco Anonam who has been taking charge of training at Floriana when Collins was away from the island.

"I want to thank the players because their effort has been unbelievable," Collins remarked.

"I am disappointed that I couldn't see this project through but I believe the team has done great, considering all the difficulties we had. I have to say I enjoyed my time with Floriana FC and in Malta where the people are brilliant.

"I had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people like Joe Cauchi, Peter Agius and Alex Cassar who really have Floriana FC at heart. They are the ones who are keeping this club afloat."

According to unofficial reports, Collins is being considered for the manager's job at Cork City, the League of Ireland club. However, he did not comment on his future yesterday.

Floriana FC were keen to assemble a strong squad last summer but, like most clubs in the Premier League, they are working on a shoestring budget due to serious financial constraints.

Collins's depture is reminiscent of that of Serbian coach Zoran Popovic who also quit his post at Floriana prematurely last December.

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