Saturday, 20 June 2015

Seagulls pounce for goalkeeping coach

Brighton and Hove Albion want to bring Ben Roberts back to the club as goalkeeping coach from Championship rivals Charlton. The Seagulls' former No.1 is the top choice to replace Antti Niemi following his return to Finland last month for family reasons. Albion have been given permission to hold talks with Roberts but Charlton do not want to lose him.

The 39-year-old has been at The Valley since December 2009 after a brief spell as goalkeeping coach of Yeovil. He was playing for Charlton when Albion borrowed him in 2003 as they fought in vain to stave off relegation from the Championship under Steve Coppell. Roberts rejoined Albion permanently months later and was in goal as they were promoted straight back to the Championship through the League One play-offs under Mark McGhee, beating Bristol City in the final at the Millennium Stadium.

Roberts, who featured in the 1997 FA Cup final for his first club Middlesbrough against Chelsea at Wembley, had to retire in 2005 at the age of 29 due to persistent back trouble.

He would be a real loss in my view.

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