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Awesome manager and two stunning strikers – but what about the rest of the Roberts XI?

Rhyl FC one-season wonder Neil Roberts (centre) celebrates a goal for Wrexham. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Following our Dave XI, Jones XI and Williams XI, today we choose our All-time Best Welsh Premier Roberts XI.

Manager

Osian Roberts

Former Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts during a press conference at the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Well, might as well pick the best!
Anglesey-raised Roberts managed in the Welsh Premier at both Porthmadog and Rhyl, where he teamed up with Allan Bickerstaff to lift the title in 2008-09 before moving on to much bigger things.
After a playing career split between North Wales and America, he became Anglesey’s Football Development Officer in 1991.
He coached the Wales under-16, under-18 and Wales B teams, as well as helping coach the women’s under-17’s.
Roberts was initially appointed technical director of the FAW Trust in 2007 before joining Gary Speed’s coaching staff in 2010.
On 21 July 2015, Roberts was promoted to assistant-manager of the Welsh national team and was a key figure as Cymru broke new ground by reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
In November 2017, after Chris Coleman left the role, Roberts stated he wished to become the new national team manager. Roberts was kept on as assistant manager following the appointment of Ryan Giggs.
On 1 August 2019 it was announced that Roberts had become technical director of the Morocco national team.

GOALKEEPER

Connor Roberts

Connor Roberts photo and factfile after he signed for Bangor City in 2014

Criminally underrated top class goalkeeper who was deservedly selected for the Wales C squad this season.
Spent four good seasons with Bangor City between 2014-18 before joining The New Saints. He is currently on a season-long loan at Aberystwyth.
The 27-year-old Chirk-born stopper began his career with Everton in 2011.
Following a couple of loan moves he switched to Cheltenham Town a year later, where he spent two seasons.
A year with Chester was followed by a move into top flight Welsh football, when he signed for Bangor City in 2014.
On the international stage, Roberts has also represented Wales at under-19 level four times with six appearances for the U21s.
In 2014 he received a call-up to the senior squad for the friendly against the Netherlands.

DEFENDERS

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts. Pic: Buckley Town FC website

Dynamic attacking left back who won Welsh Premier League titles with Rhyl and Bangor City, as well as the Welsh Cup with the latter.
Also represented both clubs in Europe.
Played in 240 WPL matches in all, also turning out for Cefn Druids.
Earlier in his career he played for Colwyn Bay and is currently with Cymru North club Buckley Town.

Callum Roberts

Callum Roberts (left) with Nomads manager Andy Morrison. Pic: NCM Media

One of the best players to feature in the Welsh Premier this season, he has become a major asset to leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Further evidence of his pedigree is the fact he has been selected for Wales C.
Attacking full-back Roberts plied his trade at Newtown during 2018/19 having previously played at TNS and Shrewsbury Town.

Rhys Roberts

Exceptional defender Rhys Roberts. Pic: Paul Evans CTFC media

Retired at the end of last season on a high note having played a full part in Caernarfon Town’s superb comeback campaign in the Welsh Premier.
The Anglesey-based centre back had previously spent four top-flight seasons at Porthmadog between 2005-09 and then joined Airbus, where he featured in another 25 WPL games before returning to Port, who were by then in the Huws Gray Alliance.
Made 181 Welsh Premier appearances in all, scoring 12 goals.
Early in his career, Rhys played for Llangefni Town and Bangor City.
He also represented Holyhead Hotspur, where he was captain and a defensive mainstay for three years before landing at Caernarfon in the summer of 2017, going on to win the Cymru Alliance title with the Canaries in 2017-18.
Roberts is also a veteran of the Island Games, making his debut in 2005 and scoring for Ynys Môn in wins over Alderney (5-0, 2011) and Freya (3-0, 2009).

Paul Roberts

Utility man formerly with Chester City who was a mainstay of Caernarfon Town’s defence for three seasons between 2001-04.
Later returned to the Welsh Premier by signing for Llangefni Town in their one and only WPL campaign of 2007-08.

MIDFIELD

Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts. Picture: Bangor City FC

Produced some excellent performances for Bangor City in 2016-17, having previously represented Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Premier between 2013-15.
Sublime ball-skills and a tremendous ability from dead-ball situations, his pedigree was reflected in all the Football League clubs who signed him.
Sadly his entire career has been blighted by off-the-field problems and it was claims of persistent misconduct which led to his exit from Bangor and a switch to Southport.
Chester-born Roberts represented England at all levels from Under-16 to Under-19. He made 133 appearances in all competitions for Crewe Alexandra before moves to Yeovil Town (on-loan), Rotherham United, Port Vale and Mansfield Town. Spells in Malta with Floriana and Mosta FC followed as well as time at Witton Albion.

Tom Roberts

Started at Ruthin before being snapped up as a schoolboy by Manchester United. He then completed a two-year youth scholarship with Aston Villa.
After appearing in the 2011 FA Youth Cup final defeat to Chelsea, he trialed with several Football League clubs before joining The New Saints in August 2011, where he won a Welsh Premier title.
Capped by Wales at Under-19 level and by the Under-23 semi-pros in October 2011, left Park Hall at the end of season 2011/12 to join AFC Telford United. Unable to game a regular first team spot he spent the latter half of season 2012/13 at Colwyn Bay before joining Rhyl in June 2013.
In more recent times he has returned to Ruthin Town in the Cymru North.

Owain Roberts

Gifted midfielder who played for Porthmadog and Bala Town in the Welsh Premier between 2004-11.
Was also a key figure in past spells with Ruthin Town and Colwyn Bay before joining Bala, where he played a part in the club’s Cymru Alliance winning season of 2008/9.
Currently part of the management set-up at Welsh Alliance club Denbigh Town, where he was also previously a player.

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts was a big hit with Caernarfon fans. Pic: Paul Evans CTFC media

Retired last summer after an impressive campaign with Caernarfon Town on their return to the Welsh Premier.
This non-stop midfielder spent seven years with the Canaries, sharing in their treble-success of 2012-13 – which included the FAW Trophy and Welsh Alliance title – and double-winning seasons of 2015/16 and 2017/18 in the Cymru Alliance.
A firm favourite with the Town fans, the popular postman made more than 230 appearances in total for the Cofis.
He also played for Bangor City, Llanfairpwll, Bethesda Athletic, Porthmadog and Glantraeth.

STRIKERS

Paul Roberts

Criccieth legend Paul Roberts in action for Bangor City. Picture: Citizens Choice website

Super striker Roberts sits proudly among the top 10 Welsh Premier marksmen of all time, having netted 147 times in 288 starts (plus 59 substitute appearances).
Criccieth man Roberts began his career at Porthmadog in 1993 but came to prominence three years later when 11 goals in 12 matches earned him a £10,000 move to Wrexham.
Wales U21 honours followed, but he was unable to consolidate his place at the Racecourse and joined Bangor City in 1998.
Roberts was a big success at Farrar Road. He notched the only goal of the 2000 Welsh Cup final, in which the Citizens beat Cwmbran Town 1-0.
In 2002-03, the lethal striker grabbed Bangor’s famous winner from 20 yards in a 1-0 home triumph over Sartid Smederevo of Yugoslavia in the Uefa Cup.
Between 1998-2006, Roberts pocketed 95 goals in 194 League of Wales outings for the all-blues before joining Rhyl for a short spell.
He returned to Bangor, adding two more goals, bringing his Welsh Premier career tally for the club to 97. He was WPL top goal-getter for the Citizens in 1999-2000 (14 goals), 2004-05 (24) and 2005-06 (22).
Further stints with Porthmadog, Technogroup Welshpool and Newtown followed, Roberts producing a steady flow of goals before calling time on a 17-year top-flight career.

Neil Roberts

Neil Roberts on Wrexham duty. Picture: Getty Images

Played only one full season in the Welsh Premier – but what a season!
In 2008-09, Roberts netted 20 goals in 31 appearances for a star-laden Rhyl side which lifted the Welsh Premier title for the second time in the club’s history.
He was voted into the Welsh Premier team of the season and came second to team-mate Gareth Owen in the player of the season vote.
Roberts left Belle Vue early in the 2009-10 campaign.
In two spells with Wrexham in the Football League, he made 130 appearances and netted 28 goals.
He also played for Wigan Athletic and had spells with Bradford City, Doncaster and Hull City.
Roberts won four full caps for Wales and represented the under-21s three times.
He is currently working as a project manager for Manchester City.

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