Connor savours his 'Fifa' moment
Connor Roberts returns to Swansea City duty against Nottingham Forest this weekend with a smile on his face after his ‘Fifa’ moment with Wales.
Roberts’s rapid rise to prominence continued during the international break as he scored the first goal of his senior career.
And it was not just any old goal.
The 22-year-old, who this time last year was struggling to get on the bench during a loan spell at Middlesbrough, unleashed a spectacular volley with his weaker left foot after being fed just outside the box by Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
No wonder, then, that Roberts’s eyes lit up as he watched the ball flash past Republic of Ireland keeper Darren Randolph and into the net.
The grin has not gone away as Roberts prepares for the Swans’ Championship clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
“It was an incredible moment for me,” he said.
“Everyone has asked me what it was like to score that goal, but there is no way to explain it.
“In football terms, it was probably the greatest night of my life and career so far.
“It was a mad feeling. Many people dream of scoring for Wales after a pass from Gareth Bale and I have now managed to experience that.
“Usually scoring off a pass from Gareth Bale only happens on FIFA!”
Roberts won just his third cap for Wales in the Ireland game, when Ryan Giggs’s team produced a sparkling performance to win 4-1.
He was first called up to the senior national side in the spring having made the first-team breakthrough at the Liberty Stadium back in January.
The local lad has been a regular in the Swans team so far this season, but remains a player who is savouring every chance he gets to impress.
“Never mind the goal, even lining up alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsay, Gareth Bale and Joe Allen was a special feeling,” he added.
“It is a bit surreal to think how far I have come since being a little boy playing for Bryncoch and Pontardawe.
“Now I am playing for my country getting an assist from one of the best players in the world.
“Even if that is the only thing I do in a Welsh top, I will be over the moon with it. But I don’t want to stop there – hopefully there will be a couple more goals in the future.
“I had never scored a professional goal until that moment, so there was no better way to get the first one. Hopefully I can get one for the Swans soon too.”
Perhaps Roberts’s moment will come tomorrow, for he is certainly making an impression in the early stages of 2018-19.
The same could be said for his club team, with the Swans making a positive start to life under Graham Potter.
Now the challenge is to maintain momentum as they face a Forest side who have been widely tipped to push for promotion this season.
“It seems like a lifetime ago when we played Millwall,” Roberts said.
“We are looking forward to getting back out there against Nottingham Forest, although we know every single game in the Championship is a hard one.
“We have to prepare like we have for previous games and keep grinding out good results.”