Roberts thanks Curt for Swans breakthrough

3rd May 2019
First team

Connor Roberts paid a personal tribute to Alan Curtis by thanking the Swansea City legend for helping bringing about his Liberty Stadium breakthrough.

Club legend Curtis retires from his coaching duties at the end of the season before taking up a position as honorary club president.

And the 65-year-old received a wonderful reception and a guard of honour ahead of the midweek draw with Derby.

Full-back Roberts added his voice to those who have acknowledged the more than 40 years of service Curtis has given the Swans.

And the 23-year-old also thanked Curtis for the personal impact he had made on his career after encouraging former manager Carlos Carvalhal to hand Roberts his first team bow after returning from a frustrating loan spell at Middlesbrough.

“What a man. What he has done for this club, city and country over the years is unbelievable,” said Roberts.

“Without him I would not have come back from Middlesbrough and been given my chance to play first-team football under Carlos Carvalhal, and definitely would not be where I am now.

“He believed in me and told Carlos I was good enough to be given a chance. I owe a lot of credit to him for my career.

“He will be remembered not just by me but everyone in Swansea for what he has done here. He is a man who deserves a statue.”

And Roberts highlighted the benefit of Curtis’ nurturing presence around a young squad including a number of players who are still eligible to be playing under-23s’ football.

“He won’t like me saying this, but he is a bit like a grandfather to me and some of the other players,” he said.

“He takes everyone under their wing and helps them.

“This season he has worked closely with players like Daniel James, Joe Rodon, Oli McBurnie. He has always been there for support and advice.

“It has benefited everyone not only as a team but as individuals as well.

“I am not sure my Swansea career in the first team would have developed without him.

“In all honesty, my career has stalled and was on a bit of a downward spiral.

“A lot of credit goes to him for where I am today. Hopefully I can keep on improving and doing well and improving from here.

“In the future I will be saying he had a pivotal role in helping me push on in the game.”