Last 18 months have been surreal - Roberts
WHEN Mark Roberts leads Boro out at Wembley on Saturday it will mark an extraordinary 18 months in the 26-year-old s career. Back in November 2008 Roberts wasn t being paid at struggling Northwich Victoria and wasn t enjoying his football but fast forward
WHEN Mark Roberts leads Boro out at Wembley on Saturday it will mark an extraordinary 18 months in the 26-year-old's career.
Back in November 2008 Roberts wasn't being paid at struggling Northwich Victoria and wasn't enjoying his football but fast forward to today and Roberts has a Conference winners' medal and a Trophy winners medal to his name and is about to lead his team out at Wembley as Boro go in search of another FA Trophy win.
"It's surreal when you think back 18 months ago when I was at Northwich, we weren't getting paid and I wasn't probably enjoying my football as much as I should have been," Roberts told The Comet.
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster but it's one I've enjoyed every second of and I want to make sure there's another high point."
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Roberts has really taken to the captaincy and says he was always confident he could do a good job.
"I felt I was ready last year to take the captaincy," he said.
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"I felt I was leading by example on and off the pitch and it was something I felt was going to come naturally to me.
"Maybe at the start of the season it took a bit of time to adjust but it's a role I've relished and a role I'm very proud to have. It's a pleasure to captain the lads and it'll be a great honour to lead them out at Wembley."
Boro arrived at Wembley last year having just lost to Cambridge in the play-off semi-finals with Roberts describing the Trophy final as an "anti-climax".
This year it's a different story though with the Blue Square Premier title already in the bag and the chance of securing an historic double and Roberts says everyone is focussed on making that a reality.
"It was strange when we came here last year," he added.
"You don't get the chance to play at Wembley every day and it was the first chance I'd had and I wanted to make the most of the experience. We came here last year having just lost the play-off semi-final and it was, and I hate to say it, a bit of an anti-climax.
"We still made sure we won the day and made the most of the season but coming back as champions with the opportunity to do the double is something we set out to do at the start of the season and everyone at the club wants to make sure we get it."
Competition for a starting place at Wembley is high and all the players have been working extremely hard in training to try and force their way into Westley's starting XI on Saturday.
"We've been working really hard this week," continued Roberts.
"People might be thinking we've won the league and we won't be working as hard but if anything we've worked even harder.
"With this opportunity we've got now we don't want to let ourselves or the club down - we want to make history and we want to get the double.
"The competition for places is very high, everyone wants to play at Wembley like everyone has wanted to play every game this season, that's what has driven us on this season and made us a winning force.