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Club News

Kory Roberts: I'm building confidence and consistency

10 January 2018

Club News

Kory Roberts: I'm building confidence and consistency

10 January 2018

Kory Roberts feels he is improving by working with his fellow centre-halves and the coaches at Walsall.

The 20-year-old centre-half has made 13 appearances for the senior side this season, all of which have been starts, having played four times for the first team in 2016/17.

Kory has stepped in ably for James Wilson and when The Saddlers have operated in a back three this season, and the young academy product has looked assured at League One level.

The young centre-back made his first appearance of the season at the heart of a three-man defence in our Carabao Cup defeat at Sheffield United back in August, performing well against the Championship side and keeping his place for our 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle the following Saturday.

Kory has since turned in impressive displays against the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town - and Roberts admits his start to the season was interesting to say the least.

"It has been wild - coming in and playing my first game against Sheffield United,” said Roberts. 

"We were unlucky not to get a result there but it was a great experience for me playing against a senior squad at Bramall Lane.

"It’s helped me with my game - my talking, telling the lads where to be, my positioning.

"Willo (James Wilson) and Jon (Guthrie) talk to me on the pitch and let me know where I can be. 

"If I'm with the U23s, I can then pass that on. I’m a senior guy for the U23s but I still feel like I’m a second-year scholar! 

"I feel I have come on a lot better this season than last season. Last season I had a few shaky performances but I think this term I have been more consistent.

"I am building my confidence, getting stronger and (becoming) more mature.

"When I signed my first professional contract, I wasn’t as confident as I am now. I’m more talkative - coming into the first team, I have to talk to the people who I’m beside.

"Even though I’m young, they still need the information from me.

"If I was to make a mistake, I just make sure the next thing I do is nice and simple and get on with it. I try to smile at things, get on with it and make sure nothing gets to me.

"I know if I do something wrong, I’m going to try to put it right and do the basic things."

Academy Manager Graham Biggs and Development Phase Coach John Ward have been key figures for Roberts in his development as a player.

"They always let me be free and don’t really tell me how to play," said Roberts.

"Graham coached me through the Youth Team and he’s always been helping me through, giving me encouragement and that."

Roberts is still looking for areas to improve his game - and admits he looks up to one former Manchester United centre-back in particular when working on his football.

"I am trying to get stronger and a bit bigger,” added Roberts.

"I want to keep moving forward and doing the right things - just the basics, really, watching experienced players and seeing how they play.

“I looked up to Rio Ferdinand as I liked how composed he was on the ball. I try to play my own game but look for the right things to do off experienced players.”

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