The Central Coast Mariners have confirmed the signing of Mount Druitt talent, John Roberts, to a scholarship agreement with the club.
Eighteen-year-old Roberts has been on trial with the Mariners for several weeks, highlighted by a clinical hat-trick against the North Shore Mariners that caught the eye of club supporters.
Roberts has spent time with both Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers in the past, but said that this opportunity with the Mariners feels like a second chance and a new start for him.
“For me, and for my family, this is really big,” Roberts said.
“It was tough since I left Western Sydney, trying to figure out where I was going to be.
“Alen Stajcic gave me a chance to come here and play and train at the Mariners, it’s not something I’m going to take lightly and I feel like I owe Staj and the club so I will try to reward them now,” he added.
Roberts was born in Guinea after his parents fled the violence in Sierra Leone, and they made their way to Australia before he turned 10-years-old.
This year, he returned to NPL club Mt Druitt to restore his confidence and get some game time, and he believes that was a key to him arriving where he is now.
“I think I needed to take that step backwards to then take another one forward.
“From now it is about working hard, giving 110 per cent every time and hopefully getting some game time in the first team,” Roberts said.
Stajcic said it was an exciting opportunity for Roberts and a further indication of the Mariners providing opportunities for young players.
“John has been on trial now with the Mariners for a few weeks and he has impressed us with his work rate, his footballing ability and also his attitude around the club.
“He’s a hard worker and this is a big chance for him to show us what we know he can be, given his time formerly in the Joey’s and also as a Young Socceroo,” Stajcic said.
Media release, Oct 15
David Jordan, Central Coast Mariners Media