AARON ROBERTS says he could not turn down the opportunity to move back to the Victoria Ground because he loves the club so much.
Roberts returned to Bromsgrove Sporting last summer from Alvechurch. A favourite among the Sporting faithful, he has made more than 100 appearances for the Rouslers and has been a key figure in this season’s promotion push.
The 23-year-old defender, who played for the defunct Bromsgrove Rovers as a youth player, told the Standard coming to Sporting for a third spell was a chance he could never turn down.
“I just love Bromsgrove Sporting, that’s why I had to come back,” he said.
“When I got the offer to return to the club I just could not turn it down and to have made more than 100 appearances shows my commitment.
“I’m proud to have reached that milestone and I hope to make another 500 appearances.
“I love the family-based atmosphere around the club, not only do I get on well with all the lads, but the fans too.
“You can really relate to the fans, they come and see us in the bar and talk about the game, it’s great to see that kind of support.”
The Sporting faithful are a real driving force behind the Rouslers, smashing the club highest attendance record twice this season at the Victoria Ground with 674 watching the New Year’s Day fixture against Pilkington XXX and then 924 for the top-of-the-table clash against Coventry United last month.
“The support we get is absolutely fantastic, it makes you give an extra 15 per cent in games,” he said.
“No matter what game it is, just seeing the support encourages us all and throughout my three spells with the club, I have seen the support grow. It’s great to see new fans coming through the turnstiles.
“They really are a cut above the rest and I have never played in a game in front of 924 fans before, the atmosphere was the best I have ever seen.”
Renowned for his bad temper in his early days, Roberts believes he has progressed as a player.
“Looking back at it, I used to be very rash in my decision-making but I feel I have come a long way since those days,” he said.
“I have only picked up five yellow cards all season and have not been sent off for over two seasons so it shows how well I have come as a player.
“That’s one of the positives of playing under Paul Smith. He wants you to do well individually and supports you so I feel that helped too.”
Sporting currently sit second in Division One of the Midland League, vying for promotion with rivals Coventry and with only four league games remaining, Roberts believes promotion is still on the cards but added keeping the current crop of players will be crucial, regardless of promotion or not.
“It’s going to be difficult to win the league but I strongly believe we have the capability to do it,” he said. “There’s still a long way to go and we just need to hope Coventry slip up. At this level of football, players come and go all the while as they have ambitions but sometimes they don’t materialise.
“ I can’t see any reason as to why anybody here will want to leave at the end of the season. We have to keep the group together and bring one or two extra players in regardless of whether we get promotion or not.”
Sporting take on Heath Hayes tomorrow (Saturday) in their final home game of the season.