Roberts: I couldn't turn down Arsenal

Former Welsh international Tony Roberts has admitted he couldn’t refuse the opportunity to become a full-time member of the coaching staff at Arsenal.

Roberts, 41, was a goalkeeper by trade during a playing career that spanned 25-years. He recently retired, ending an 11-year association with Dagenham and Redbridge. 

While the role represents a fresh start for Roberts, the former keeper should already be very familiar with the Gunners’ setup, given he has been working with the North London club’s Acadamy players on a part-time basis for the last two years.

His new role will merely be an extension of his previous part-time duties, and he will work closely with current goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton and reserve team coach Neil Banfield.

Speaking about his new full-time venture at Emirates Stadium, Roberts told Arsenal’s official website that, although he lamented the end of his playing career, he couldn’t pass up the golden opportunity of working for one of the country’s biggest clubs.

"I didn’t need too much convincing, it’s Arsenal. When they ask you to go full-time you don’t think about it, it’s something that you have got to do.

"I’ve had a great career and have been going for 25 years. I was going to sign another year for Dagenham but when the opportunity arose to go full-time, I had to do it.

“We’ve got six or seven goalkeepers that we look after and obviously Gerry can’t do it all on his own. We sit down with them and say what we expect from the goalkeepers at Arsenal.

“I’ve been working with Wojciech [Szczesny] and James [Shea] for a number of years and it seems to working."

By Killian Woods