Thursday 1st March, 2007


Roberts arrives at Rotterdam

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T&T senior national striker Darryl Roberts arrived at Sparta Rotterdam yesterday to begin his 18-month contract and will take part in his first training session with the Dutch Premier Division club today.

The 23-year-old agreed to his new contract with Holland’s oldest professional club last month but only left T&T on Tuesday after obtaining his work permit the previous day.

His deal was done through the efforts of MLF Sports with agent Heather Mac Kenzie involved and she was also there to ensure Roberts’ arrival at the club was a smooth one.

A soft spoken Roberts said he was looking forward to his first session with reserves on Thursday but has been assured by Rotterdam’s head coach, Willjen Rooulet, that he will be in line for selection for the first team which has eight games to go in the current season.

I arrived today and things have gone smoothly so far. I have my first training session in the morning and that’s when things really start kicking,” Roberts said on Wednesday.

The welcome was a warm one and now it’s a matter of settling at the club itself. The manager wants to see how well I fit in.

They have eight more games this season and I think my selection will depend on how I perform in the training sessions. There will be a eleven v eleven tomorrow and the coaches will be looking on.

I know I have to perform to make the first team,” added Roberts, who is also an ex-Fatima College player and recently turned down a draft pick with new MLS team Toronto FC.

The former Malta Carib Alcons trainee and Liberty College striker went on to say getting into the European football was a major breakthrough for him as he sees it a step up in term of the level of preparations he expects to undergo.

Right now it’s also about gaining experience for me. I am willing to work hard and see what happens from there. Just getting into a club like this in Europe is a good step.

It’s a first step for me and I know there will be a lot more to go after,” he said. He is expected to be given his shirt number later this week.

Roberts comes from family with a sporting background; his grandfather, Roland Cleveland was a footballer with Cyclones and a referee from Arima. His father Wayne Roberts was also an avid footballer and his mother Cheryl is a former netballer and is the current physical education teacher at St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph.

The club was founded in 1887 but only turned to football a year later after several ex-members formed a cricket club of the same name.

Sparta has won six Dutch National titles and the Cups.

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