Connor Roberts | We want to make Wales fans feel proud at Euro 2020
Connor Roberts says Rob Page’s Wales squad is determined to make the nation feel proud once again as they kick off their long awaited European Championships campaign today.
The tournament, delayed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officially got under way last night as fellow Group A opponents Turkey and Italy faced each other.
Wales start their campaign today when they face Switzerland in Baku (2pm), and Roberts is hoping to play his part as Page’s side look to advance through a tough group.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a successful season, having featured 50 times for the Swans as Steve Cooper’s side reached the Championship play-off final, on top of 10 appearances for Wales.
Roberts was also named Supporters’ Player of the Year, Away Player of the Year and the Swansea City Disabled Supporters’ Association (DSA) Player of the Year during a club campaign that saw him register five goals and seven assists.
Now he hopes to help Wales’ fortunes in the Euros, having watched on as a fan during the nation’s remarkable journey to the semi-final stage of the previous tournament in 2016.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’m hopeful of pulling on the red shirt and play for Wales at the Euros. I’ll give everything I can if I get the chance,” said Roberts.
“There are no easy groups in the Euros, every team has good players and have qualified in their own right.
“But we’ve got unbelievable players too and we are a match for anyone. If we play well and our players are firing then there’s a high chance that we can win a few games and get through to the next round.
“Hopefully I get a chance to play in at least one of the games and then I can always say I’ve played for Wales at the Euros.”
Wales’ qualification for the previous Euros had ended a long wait for the country to appear at a major tournament. Not since 1958 had Wales appeared at a big tournament, when they reached the World Cup quarter-final.
Chris Coleman guided his side, which included then Swans stars Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams in his squad, to the last four of the competition in France.
While that achievement exceeded expectations, Roberts admits the squad is determined to make Welsh fans feel just as proud this time around.
“We didn’t qualify for ages for the Euros, and now we’ve done it twice in a row,” added Roberts.
“People are almost expectant of us now. It’s still hard, there’s still hard work to come and we need players to perform and give everything.
“We’re honoured to play for Wales, and hopefully we can put on a good show like the team did at the Euros in 2016. I’m not saying we will get to the semi-final like they did, which was unbelievable, but hopefully we can do ourselves proud.
“It’s the closest competition to the World Cup with your country. I’ve played in most of the qualifiers, so I played my part, and to get there and play one game would be unbelievable.”