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Roberts: League Football Was Important

3 July 2013

Connor Roberts admits league football and Scott Brown played a big part in his contract renewal.

Connor Roberts will be a Cheltenham Town goalkeeper in 2013-14 having signed a new contract this morning.

The former Everton shot stopper arrived at the training ground early this morning to put pen to paper on a new one year contract and immediately linked back up with his team-mates for training.

Negotiations weren't completely smooth with Connor weighing up the possibility of first team football in non-league and an extended stay at the Abbey Business Stadium but the 20 year-old admitted it was the chance to stay in the Football League and some wise words from Scott Brown that helped make up his mind.

"I'm definitely glad to get it sorted," he said.

"It's taken a while and I was actually trying to get it sorted during the season so I could have a stress-free summer! I'm surprised I have any hair left if I'm honest but it's good to finally sign.

"Staying in the Football League was important for me. I had an offer from a part time club which would have been good because it would mean playing every week but staying in the league was more important. 

"Browny has been a big help and he's been like my Dad! He rang me loads of times through the summer and he has been a big reason as to why I decided to stay. I felt like I made real progress working with him and Booky last year. He is an important figure to me."

A decade at the club and Scott Brown is now the longest serving members of the playing squad and highly rated within the lower league but it's clear he had a major role to play in Connor extending his stay with the club.

Scott had to play second fiddle to Shane Higgs for a long period of time before being handed his opportunity and it's that success story that has inspired Connor to stick around at Cheltenham Town.

"You have to bide your time and a lot of people have told me that," he explained.

"It's tough sitting on the bench week in and week out and that's why I was looking at moving but Browny went through the same thing and I've decided to stay.

"I have had a great season and getting back into the Wales U21 squad was important to me and I probably wouldn't have achieved that playing outside of the league. I also enjoyed playing my old club Everton last season.

"You do think whether you can afford dropping stuff like that and the answer is, no you can't."

So it was the first day of pre-season training for Connor today and he took some time out between sessions to speak to before heading back out with his team-mates.

The players may work hard in pre-season and Connor was quick to point out that the goalkeepers are worked even harder but he also admitted he couldn't wait to line up alongside his team-mates for the pre-season friendlies this summer.

"Pre-season training is more for goalkeepers and I'd like to see some of this lot do what we do!

"I haven't played with the lads here for a while now so the pre-season games will be great. I really can't wait."

Watch Connor's interview on Robins Player by clicking here.

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