Belfast Telegraph

Wales 'passion and pride' persuaded Tyler Roberts to turn back on England

West Brom striker Tyler Roberts has outlined the reasons why English-qualified youngsters commit themselves to Wales.

Gloucester-born Roberts has joined the likes of Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn, Chelsea's Cole DaSilva and highly-rated Exeter defender Ethan Ampadu amid claims that Wales are poaching English youngsters in their early teens.

Woodburn, 17, was in the senior squad for Wales' last game against the Republc of Ireland in March, while 16-year-old Ampadu joined the Liverpool youngster at a Portugal training camp this week ahead of the Dragons' next World Cup qualifier in Serbia on June 11.

Roberts has also trained with Chris Coleman's Wales senior squad in the past and has no qualms about turning his back on England.

"I've been with Wales since the under-14s," said Roberts, 18, who qualifies through a Fishguard-born grandfather.

"It's always been about passion and pride and playing for the country.

"I've trained with people like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey and they were were all good to me.

"It's boosted me to get into that first-team environment and I've enjoyed every camp I've been to.

"Everyone buys into it. As soon as we step on the training pitch everybody works hard, but we also have a laugh off the pitch as well."

Roberts played his part as Wales Under-20s held hosts France to a goalless draw in their Toulon Tournament opener on Tuesday.

Wales meet Bahrain in their second group game at Fos-sur-Mer on Friday.

After the tournament Roberts will take a short break before returning to pre-season training at West Brom.

Roberts had loan spells at Oxford and Shrewsbury in League One this season, but hopes to break into Tony Pulis' plans at West Brom and add to his solitary Premier League appearance against Liverpool in May 2016.

"The Liverpool game showed me where I want to be," Roberts said.

"He (Pulis) has told me to get my head down and work as hard I can to try and get in the team.

"He's said to come in as strong as I can for pre-season, and if I do well there's always a chance I can get in the team."


From Belfast Telegraph