Tyler Roberts: West Brom give teenager professional contract

Tyler Roberts scores for Wales Under-16s v Scotland Under-16s (Victory Shield match, Aberystwyth, October 2013)
Wales' Tyler Roberts has already captained his country Wales at Under-16 level

West Brom have signed highly-rated teenage Welsh striker Tyler Roberts on his first professional contract, just two days after his 17th birthday.

The Gloucester-born youngster, who has been tied to Albion's academy since he was seven, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The highly-rated Roberts was invited to train with Chris Coleman's Wales' senior squad last summer.

He qualifies to represent Wales through his grandparents.

Roberts has twice been named on the Albion bench as an unused substitute, for last season's final-day defeat at Arsenal and again for the New Year's holiday home match against Stoke City.

"Being on the bench a couple of times was a great experience," he said. "But this feels wonderful. It's something I've been working towards since I was seven. To have finally got here is an immense feeling.

"We have some great coaches at academy level. They have told me to use this as a stepping stone, to not settle for this but push myself on and become a regular in the first-team squad.

Tyler Roberts' background

Tyler Roberts was first spotted by scouts playing in a tournament in Gloucester, for junior side Tredworth Tigers.

After joining Albion, he made weekly journeys up and down the M5 to train at Albion's academy, in the shadow of the M6 junction at Great Barr.

But, when he reached secondary school age, his mother chose to move north to Birmingham, finding a new job to allow her son to switch schools to Sandwell Academy and follow his footballing dream.

He captained Wales Under-16s to victory in last season's Victory Shield, setting up two goals against Scotland before scoring in the final against Northern Ireland.