The rise of Roberts

15th August 2018
First team

He may be just 22, but Connor Roberts has had plenty to shout about in his four years as a professional footballer.

Local lad Roberts, who hails from Crynant, has become a regular in the Swans’ first team since making his debut last season.

After making his first appearance for his home-city club in the FA Cup, Roberts went on to complete a clean sweep of domestic football by featuring for the Swans in the Premier League.

The top-flight bow meant Roberts had played in all four divisions of English football, while he has also participated in the League Cup and EFL Trophy as well as the FA Cup.

Roberts’ first taste of professional football came in 2015 during a hugely successful loan spell with Yeovil in League Two.

He played 54 games for the Glovers during the 2015-16 campaign and won numerous prizes at their end-of-season awards bash.

“I’ve played in various leagues already in my career and it has been great for my development,” said Roberts.

“At Yeovil I got my first taste of senior football and that gave me the confidence I needed to show I could handle a professional level.

“It was a really good club for me to develop at, and I’m really grateful to them for giving me that opportunity.

“I managed to pick up some awards there at the end of the season, so it couldn’t have gone any better at Yeovil.”

The right-back then spent four months on loan with Bristol Rovers, making five appearances in total as he marked League One on his list.

Last season, Roberts kicked off his campaign in the Championship after joining Middlesbrough, then managed by Garry Monk, on loan.

Four appearances for Boro – with one in the Championship – saw Roberts cut his season-long short due to a lack of game-time.

And it paid off for the defender as he went on to make 11 appearances for the Swans, including a Premier League debut in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.

While the season ended in relegation for the Swans, Roberts signed off by earning his first Wales cap.

With all that experience behind him, Roberts is now concentrating on becoming a mainstay in Graham Potter’s defence in the Championship.

He has been part of an impressive start under Potter, with the Swans winning their opening games against Sheffield United and Preston.

“Each loan spell has been a learning experience for me and all that has helped me develop,” added Roberts.

“While I played a lot at Yeovil it was slightly different at Bristol Rovers in League One. I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked in the four months I spent there, but it was still an experience that I could learn from.

“Last season I started on loan at Middlesbrough, only to play a few games there before returning to Swansea and getting Premier League experience and finishing the season with a Wales cap.

“So it’s been quite some experience so far.

“Now it’s all about improving myself daily. I'm trying to become a regular in the manager’s plans and doing what I can do to help the team move forward.”