Osian Roberts: 'I felt I was ready for the main job' - departing Wales assistant

Osian Roberts
Osian Roberts played in the American Professional Soccer League for the New Mexico Chiles

Departing Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts says he felt he "was ready" to become national team boss before Ryan Giggs was appointed.

Roberts has been named Royal Moroccan Football Federation's technical director on a five-year deal.

The 54-year-old was interviewed for the manager's role after Chris Coleman left in 2017, but the FAW opted for Giggs

"I felt genuinely I was ready for the 'main job' but the FAW in their wisdom believed differently," Roberts said.

"I have always succeeded in declining several lucrative and challenging opportunities in the past, including an assistant manager role in a major EPL clubs as recent as a few weeks ago.

"Because of my loyalty to my country I never wanted to walk away from my country.

"But I feel I can help Wales more by opening the door for a new catalyst for the national teams and each of the programmes by allowing the next person to take it on."

Anglesey-born Roberts was initially appointed technical director of the FAW Trust in 2007 before joining Gary Speed's coaching staff in 2010.

Following Speed's death in November 2011, Roberts continued as part of Coleman's coaching team with Wales qualifying for Euro 2016 - their first major tournament since 1958.

Coleman left to join Sunderland in November 2017 and Roberts was interviewed for the manager's job before Giggs was appointed in January 2018.

"I have to thank Ryan Giggs, one of our best players ever, who had no reason to keep me on his staff and the way in which he has involved me has been first class," Roberts added in a statement.

"He will be successful, I have every faith in him."

Roberts will join Morocco in September, leaving his roles as Football Association of Wales' technical director and national team assistant manager.

"I can now enter a new chapter of my life, proud of what I achieved for Wales, knowing I gave it my all, heart and soul," Roberts said.

"In 2007 I knew it was my time to lead the country. In 2019 I know it is my time to leave.

"I leave with a heavy heart but a very proud heart."