Connor aims to make his mark

20th March 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Connor Roberts is aiming to make his mark with Wales this week having been handed a chance in China by Ryan Giggs.

Roberts’ rise to prominence at the Liberty Stadium has caught the attention of Wales’s new manager, who named the right-back in his first squad.

The call-up is the latest landmark achievement for Roberts, who had never played a senior game for the Swans when he returned from a loan spell at Middlesbrough at the beginning of January.

The 22-year-old right-back was thrust into FA Cup action at Wolves in the absence of Kyle Naughton and Angel Rangel – and he has been making progress ever since.

Roberts made his eighth senior appearance under Carlos Carvalhal in last weekend’s cup loss to Spurs.

And now he hopes for more action as Wales get set for their China Cup opener against the hosts in Nanning on Thursday.

“Things have happened so fast and I was delighted to get a call-up,” Roberts said.

“I only found out when I came off the training pitch with the lads last Thursday. I’ve had lots of messages from different people. All my friends and family are pleased for me.

“They know how big an achievement it is just to be called up. Hopefully I can push on from here and earn my first senior cap.”

Roberts, who has previously had temporary stints at Yeovil and Bristol Rovers, joined Garry Monk’s Boro on a season-long loan last summer.

But having struggled for regular football on Teesside, the Swans academy product came home to Wales – and has quickly established himself as a genuine first-team option in SA1.

“It has been a whirlwind few months,” Roberts added.

“I didn’t get much game-time whilst loan at Middlesbrough, but I have come back and been a part of the team under Carlos Carvalhal.

“I have been working very hard at various levels over the past few years and I am grateful for the game-time I have had with the Swans in recent weeks because it has helped me get my call-up.”

“There is still work to do and I will need to prove myself. Nothing has been achieved yet. Hopefully I can go and impress as much as I can and gain valuable experience from the trip.”