POOLE Town frontman Luke Roberts has admitted he would delay plans to go into teaching if the offer of a full-time professional contract came his way.
Roberts has attracted the attention of several clubs from a higher level having turned in a series of impressive displays during Poole’s debut campaign in National South.
The versatile and skilful 23-year-old, who can operate as a striker or on the wing, is blessed with searing pace and has a keen eye for goal.
Roberts was watched by Forest Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper during Poole’s midweek draw with Hungerford, while Championships clubs Bristol City and Reading also had representatives at the game.
Under contract to Poole, Roberts is in his final year at Bournemouth University where he is studying for a bachelor’s degree in sport development and coaching sciences with the aim of becoming a PE teacher.
He told the Daily Echo: “I’ve got a couple of months left on my course and then have to apply for some jobs. I’ve got my degree and want to go into teaching.
“I work part-time in a college now and my aim is to do a PGCE (postgraduate certificate in education) to get my teaching qualification and, hopefully, go into a secondary school or sixth-form college teaching PE.”
Asked whether he would be forced to rethink his plans if a professional club came calling, Roberts replied: “I think I would definitely take the pro contract.
“I would be just out of university and, as yet, I haven’t got a job laid down so my options would be open.
If the professional football didn’t work, I would always have the degree to fall back on.
“A lot of footballers rely solely on professional contracts and some can get a little lost when they come out of the game.”
In an interview with the Daily Echo last week, Poole boss Tom Killick, who signed Roberts from AFC Totton in 2014, said he felt the player was “too good” for National South.
Roberts said: “I got a few messages after Tom had put that in the Daily Echo which I appreciated. But I don’t really focus on what is in the papers, my focus is to get Poole into the play-offs.
“I don’t really think too much about what is going to happen next season or what is going on off the pitch or who might be watching. I just want to put in a performance in every game.
“I don’t think any player would perform better in a certain game just in case someone was watching. I just enjoy playing and anything else is a bonus.”
Roberts, who netted 15 times as Poole lifted the Southern League title last season, won a penalty which Steve Devlin converted to give them a first-half lead against Hungerford.
But the visitors to the Black Gold Stadium deservedly levelled through Matt Day’s bullet header, with a share of the spoils leaving Poole seven points clear in the final play-off spot.