Express & Star

Tyler Roberts hopes Wales experience will boost his West Brom chances

Teenager Tyler Roberts has no regrets turning his back on England and hopes his experience with Wales will help him force his way into first-team contention for Albion.

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Tyler Roberts in action on loan at Shrewsbury Town last season.

The 18-year-old is currently in France playing for Wales under-20s in the Toulon Tournament.

Born in Gloucester, he qualifies for the Dragons through his Pembrokeshire grandfather and has already trained with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale in Chris Coleman’s senior squad.

Roberts enjoyed a successful loan spell at League One Shrewsbury Town in the second half of last season, and he reckons his development has benefited from his time with Wales.

"I've been with Wales since the under-14s," he said. "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 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 impressively held hosts France to a goalless draw in their tournament opener on Tuesday.

Wales meet Bahrain in their second group game at Fos-sur-Mer on Friday. After the tournament finishes, Roberts will take a short break before returning to pre-season training with Albion in the first week of July.

He made his first-team debut on the final day of the 2015/16 season at home to Liverpool, but spent last season out on loan at Oxford United and then Shrewsbury.

Tony Pulis was impressed by Roberts’ spell with Salop, where he scored four goals and set up three more in 13 appearances.

And the Baggies boss has told the teenager that there are spaces up for grabs in pre-season.

"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."