Cobblers boss Boothroyd so happy with young defender Roberts

ONE FOR THE FUTURE - defender Connor Roberts has been excellent in the Cobblers' pre-season friendlies so far
ONE FOR THE FUTURE - defender Connor Roberts has been excellent in the Cobblers' pre-season friendlies so far
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Lateef Elford-Alliyu might have scored four goals in the 6-0 win at Cogenhoe United on Tuesday night but the star of the evening was playing at the other end of the pitch.

Right-back Connor Roberts’ was not exactly overworked – and that’s understandable given the distance between the two clubs in the footballing pyramid.

But everything he did, he did well, whether it was competing for 50-50 challenges or timing a lunging tackle.

Roberts is technically a centre-back and although it is fair to say he has some growing to do before he can be fielded there, he looks fully capable of being the next hot prospect off the Sixfields production line.

The teenager should get the chance to impress again, when Peterborough visit Sixfields on Saturday for a pre-season friendly.

“I thought he did really well,” said Aidy Boothroyd. “He’s only four days off being a first-year apprentice and he’s got an awful lot of talent.

“He looks like he’s just come out of primary school but people can’t get past him and he’s a terrific defender.

“He won’t be right for this season but it’s good to have another one coming through – we’ve also got Ivan (Toney), who has come through as well.

“The young players aren’t going to be our stalwarts for the whole season but they will come into my thoughts in the middle of the season when we start to get injuries and suspensions.”

An increased role for the youngsters is part of what might be a sea change at Sixfields this season, with Boothroyd already seeing the signs that this Northampton side will be quite different to last year’s.

“It’s clear that there is a lot more running power in the group, there’s more energy and there’s more football being played,” he said.

“I want to have to right balance to be able to win in a variety of ways so I’ve got to have a good think about the players we’ve got in on trial.”