CONNOR Roberts has seen it all during a long playing career.

Despite being only 28 years old the Oswestry based goalkeeper and current TNS No2 has already started his coaching career.

He told freelance journalist Jonny Drury how he hopes to pass on his knowledge to the next generation at Park Hall.

Roberts freely admits his greatest mistake was joining English Premier League side Everton as a teenager.

“I moved there from Tranmere when I was under 15 and missed half a season of under 14s because it all went to a tribunal and stuff,” said Roberts.

“I actually turned down a YTS contract at one stage and then I was offered a professional contract at 15.

“As a kid you were buzzing when your mum gave you two quid to go down to the shops, so when you get given a contract with all these figures on it at 15, you just can’t turn it down.

“It is something me and my family have maybe regretted since.”

He arrived at Everton and was down the pecking order, but soon rose up after the departure of fellow stoppers Iain Turner and John Ruddy.

“I moved up after that and I found myself training with the likes of Tim Howard every day and I had to pinch myself, which was unreal,” added Roberts.

“Tim Howard was great, he was an amazing character who demanded so much from you and was so good with the younger lads.

“I remember one time my gloves were battered and my boots were a bit old. The next day I came in and had a new pair of boots and two new pairs of gloves from him.”

Roberts was in a good class of players while at Goodison Park, regularly lining up alongside the likes of Jack Rodwell and Ross Barkley.

Then after two and a half years on Merseyside, he joined Cheltenham Town in League Two and earning a Wales cap under Chris Coleman.

But despite learning a lot at the club, he rarely got a look in in the first team.

From Cheltenham, Roberts signed for Chester before moving into the JD Cymru Premier with Bangor City, where he made 85 appearances.

Roberts then signed for hometown club The New Saints, where he has been understudy to the ever green Paul Harrison while also starting his coaching career.

At the club he has also combined his return to full time football with coaching, something that the goalkeeper has embraced as much as playing.

“It has been like a rollercoaster my career, so I will never predict what can happen in the future,” said Roberts.

“I was lucky to have a Dad who put as much time and effort into me as he did,” added the goalkeeper.

“It used to be behind the Stans supermarket on the field there working hard all the time, and I was very lucky in that respect to have that.”

Roberts, who is currently on loan at fellow JD Cymru Premier side Aberystwyth Town, is hopeful his chance will come at TNS in the number one jersey

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