Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mine's a Double, Vows Roberts the Superhero

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mine's a Double, Vows Roberts the Superhero

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

IT is hard work leading a double life, as the greatest of comic-book heroes have discovered. The inevitable sacrifices wreak havoc with one's personal life and the frustration at missing out can be all-consuming, all stemming from the impossibility of being in two places at the same time.

Tony Roberts knows the feeling. The Dagenham and Redbridge goalkeeper will play the biggest game of his season in the Nationwide Conference playoff final against Doncaster tomorrow but, in the game's quieter moments, his thoughts are likely to be elsewhere.

Roberts's day job is goalkeeper coach of Queens Park Rangers, who have their own playoff date against Oldham at Boundary Park, kicking off half-an-hour later than Dagenham's. It should be quite a day.

Roberts said: "It's the first time I've had two such big games in a week and I'm loving it. It's the biggest game in Dagenham's history, and QPR are aiming to get back to a level at which they belong.

"I'm gutted they're both on the same day because I was expecting Rangers to be playing on Sunday. I'll be busy with my game but as soon as the whistle has gone, I'll be asking someone for the score. I always speak to the same journalist who tells me how the lads are getting on."

Roberts may not merit his own comic strip, but his recent exploits have been heroic. The 33-year-old saved two penalties in a shootout as he helped the Daggers win their semi-final against Morecambe on Monday, not a bad effort for a player who retired through injury four years ago.

Roberts trains fulltime with QPR, as well as attending two evening sessions in Dagenham, and he is hoping to be rewarded with two promotions. Garry Hill's side can seal the first leg of that double tomorrow. After missing out on promotion on goal difference last season, they are out to go one better.

Roberts said: "Missing out last season hurt but it has made us stronger. We were determined to show that we weren't one-season wonders, and after a terrible start we have proved that. We never give up, as we showed against Morecambe.

" Manchester United have a reputation for winning games at the death, it's the same with us. …

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