Albion forward ready to make step-up
LIKE any true Throstle, Tyler Roberts believes he can fly. And why not?
The Albion man was recently called up for the first time by Wales, for their Euro 2016 qualifer against Belgium.
And like any 16-year-old making his international debut, Roberts was the talk of the town. Not only was he headline news in Wales, he was rubbing shoulders with seasoned internationals but also thrust in front of a microphone.
Roberts was forced to sing R Kelly's 'I Believe I Can Fly' as part of his initiation with the Wales squad - just as he did with the Albion first-team when he got called up for the games against Manchester United and Arsenal (he was on the bench for the latter fixture).
All of this was before his final GCSE exam - Religious Education, since you ask.
He hopes to learn from the best, God willing of course.
“We had a lot of rest time in our rooms but when you’re in the canteen you get to know people," he said.
“When Gareth Bale first walked in, it was like ‘that’s actually him…’ but after that it becomes and bit like ‘I’m here now’.
“Everyone introduced themselves. They made me sing as well – I sang ‘I believe I can fly’. I did it with Albion’s first team, I didn’t really think they were going to make me do it so I didn’t have time to prepare.
“It was on the third day, Ashley Williams (captain) said to us younger ones ‘you’ve got to sing’. I didn’t think anything of it and then one of the other lads said ‘you don’t really have to sing’. But we did it. I was doing the actions…”
Albion players report back for training in two weeks time.
Roberts cannot wait.
"Nothing has really changed, I’ve still got to prove myself. For Albion I want to get into the first team and make my debut, I’ve got to prove myself there," he added.
“There’s quite a few strikers in the U21s as well so I still have to keep trying to be consistent and get a place in the team there.
"Being able to get a taste of it last year, I think it should be an aim for me to try and get in and around it next year.”