MIDFIELDER Michael Collins has become Michael Appleton's first signing for Oxford United.

The 28-year-old is a former under 21 Republic of Ireland international and former captain of Scunthorpe United and was part of their promotion-winning side last season.

He began his career at Huddersfield Town, making more than 200 appearances. He has also played at AFC Wimbledon on loan.

He joins the U's on a one-year deal with an option for a further year.

Appleton believes Collins' experience will be vital.

He said: “We have a young squad and a small squad and we know we need a few experienced additions.

"Michael has played 300 league games, most of them at a higher level, and will bring a little bit of know-how and quality to the squad.

"He is a good player and adds something different to what we currently have in midfield.

"He likes to win the ball back, he can dominate the centre of the park and he has attacking attributes as well so I am delighted that he has joined us.

“He has won promotions, he knows the league and at six foot he has a presence about him as well.

"We will continue to work hard to bring players in and hopefully there will be a few other new faces arriving soon as well.”

Collins said: “I was really impressed by what Michael told me about the club and what the new owners want to happen.

"Something looks to be happening at Oxford and I am excited to be part of it.

"I know one or two of the lads from my time at Scunthorpe and they have told me a lot of good things about the set-up and the fans so I can’t wait to get started now.”

Michael will wear squad number 19 and is likely to play against Oxford City tonight.