Connor Roberts targets more Swansea and Wales highs in 2019

Connor Roberts scored his first Wales goal in September's 4-1 Nations League win over the Republic of Ireland
Connor Roberts scored his first Wales goal in September's 4-1 Nations League win over the Republic of Ireland

Connor Roberts is hoping for more of the same in 2019 having had a year to remember with Swansea City and Wales.

This time 12 months ago, the full-back came from nowhere to make his senior Swansea debut in the FA Cup.

The 23-year-old has since established himself as a regular for both club and country, winning eight Wales caps since his debut in March 2018, and is now eyeing further progress.

"Hopefully 2019 can be as good if not better," Roberts said.

"You can't stand here and guess what's going to happen.

"If you had asked me this time last year what would happen in 2018, I would never have said what did happen."

Roberts, who comes from Crynant in the Dulais Valley, joined Swansea while at primary school.

Well over a decade later he made his first-team bow in an FA Cup tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 6 January, 2018.

Roberts had just returned from a loan spell at Middlesbrough, which was cut short because he had been unable to claim a regular place there.

He has since made 36 Swansea appearances and claimed eight caps for Wales since making his senior international debut in the China Cup final against Uruguay.

Despite the breakthrough year, Roberts is taking nothing for granted about what lies ahead.

"Anything can happen - it could be good, it could be bad," he added.

"I have just got to keep on performing well, training and listening to what people around me say, whether it be for club or country.

"Football is a game of ups and downs. If it does go down a bit then I have to keep my head up, keep on improving and look to get back to where I was in 2018."

Many positions, one aim

Roberts is a recognised right-back, but has played on the left of defence in recent times following the season-ending injury suffered by Swansea colleague Martin Olsson.

This season, he has also been deployed on the right of midfield by club boss Graham Potter and Wales manager Ryan Giggs.

"I'll play wherever I'm needed," said Roberts.

"The gaffer chose to leave me out (against Wigan Athletic last weekend), which was disappointing because I want to play every game - whether it is left-back or right-back, right wing or left wing.

"Whatever it may be I am happy to play for Swansea City.

"The more games I can play, and the more I can get into a routine of playing well, the better."

Having been recalled to the Swansea side at Reading on New Year's Day, Roberts scored his third club goal of the season as Potter's team won 4-1.

He hopes to feature once more in the FA Cup third-round tie at rival Championship side Aston Villa on Saturday.

"A cup run would be great. Every game is a chance to improve and we want to look at Saturday like that," said Roberts.

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