Walsall goalkeeper Liam Roberts signs new contract
Walsall goalkeeper Liam Roberts has been rewarded for his fine form with a new two-and-a-half year deal with the club.
The 23-year-old has been with the Saddlers for nine years, progressing through the youth ranks, and is now tied down until the summer of 2020.
He has made 15 appearances for Jon Whitney's side this season – 10 starts in League One. Roberts described being awarded a new contract as a 'massive confidence boost'.
"It’s unbelievable – it’s a great achievement and I feel very proud and privileged to have signed a new contract,” he said.
“I’ve been here now since I was 14, and it’s been an honour – I’m glad it can continue.
“It gives me a massive confidence boost – getting in the team gave me confidence but knowing I’ve got the backing for the next two-and-a-half years feels great.
“It has been a rollercoaster of a year, to be honest.
"I’ve had to work hard day-in, day-out, and I feel very honoured that the gaffer and the coaching staff put me in.
“They took a risk and I’ve got to continue now, doing what I’m doing.
“They’ve known me for so long and the faith they’ve shown in me is unbelievable.”
Roberts was sent out on loan eight times before forcing his way into Walsall's first team.
He spent last campaign at National League side Chester, having previously spent time with the likes of Gresley, Southport and Rainworth Miners Welfare in non-league.
The Walsall-born shot-stopper made his debut for the Saddlers in 2016, against Millwall in the league, and has kept fellow glovesman Mark Gillespie – signed from Carlisle United last summer – out of the side as of late.
“On a personal level I think this season is going really well,” said Roberts.
“I’m getting games and I’m really enjoying it – that’s the main thing.
“I’m gaining confidence with every game I play, knowing I’m a part of the squad."
Roberts also took the time to thank his team-mates and the coaching team for helping him develop into the club's first choice keeper.
He added: “The players and staff have been magnificent – now I’ve stepped into the team and I feel I’ve done well."