Press Releases 2017

Wales Assistant manager Osian Roberts awarded Honorary Fellowship

12.07.2017

Wales Assistant manager and Technical Director Osian Roberts has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University of Wales Trinity Saint David, marking his significant contribution to sport in Wales and internationally.

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Mr Roberts’ award comes just a day after his boss, Wales football manager Chris Coleman, received the same honour at a ceremony at the city’s Brangwyn Hall.

UWTSD Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, said : “I am very proud of the fact that Osian Roberts stands on the stage with me. We were brought up together in the same village. Our families were joined as one. He could kick a ball, I never could. But It is a great honour for me to see you here Osian and I am delighted that the university is honouring you for your contribution to Wales.”

Presenting the award to Mr Roberts, UWTSD’s lecturer in physical education, Dylan Blain said: “When Wales beat Belgium to reach the semi-final of the European championships,a moment of great sporting history was created that I’m sure will forever be looked back upon as one of the greatest achievements for us as a sporting nation. This, by a team that was ranked 117th in the World only 5-6 years ago. The rise of football in Wales, both on and off the playing field, is quite remarkable. And of course, behind all successful teams are exceptional leaders, and we honour one today in Osian Roberts.

“Alongside his successful work with Wales’s national teams at all levels, Osian has also developed a reputation as a world leading coach educator. The current coach education programme in Wales is regarded as one of the best in the world with some of the world’s greatest players and coaches now attending courses here in Wales. Osian’s work has been influential in creating the clear pathways that exist from the Welsh youth teams through to the seniors, and in creating an identity for Welsh football that I’m sure will remain and bring much more success in the future.”

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Accepting the award, Mr Roberts said: “It’s a wonderful honour for me to be stood before you today. I am completely out of my comfort zone I can tell you it’s far easier being in the heat of battle in team meetings with players. As a coach and educator of players throughout my career I think it’s important that I practice what I preach, namely to be comfortable in feeling uncomfortable and be prepared to come out of your comfort zone . It’s a very special day for you all and it’s your day to celebrate also. I’d like to talk about some of the lessons from what was a historical 2016 campaign. I’ve spent my whole career in the game I love doing what I love and having coached well over 300 international games at several levels here in Wales I consider myself very lucky . But I also believe luck is when opportunity meets preparation and when the late Gary Speed invited me to assist him , I felt I was prepared. I had done the hard yards . I had coached at all levels of the game , in all sorts of conditions , gained all my qualifications and then had a thirst for knowledge to travel extensively, again with a relentless thirst. I say to my coaches it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. But of course my personal coaching highlight was Euro 2016 , reaching the semi-finals and creating history , touching the heart of a nation. So as you embark on the next stage of your lives , what can I share from the Euro 2016 experience . It’s the value of team work , whether leading or working as part of a team . The success we had in France would have never come to be, had we not had team work within the group of players that we had. It’s important to respect your team mates and try and get the best out of your team , by creating a healthy environment so that everyone pulls in the right direction . I would also urge you to make a difference and make that contribution as much as you can. At times you’ll have the opportunity to manage upwards where you can work in a culture of an environment of excellence, and where healthy conflict exists where possible. It’s also important to be able to challenge in the right way , at the right time and in the right manner - to raise standards. And we have certainly had to do that in last 7 years.”

Anglesey born Osian Roberts fell in love with football at an early age.

He played central midfield for his school team in the village of Bodffordd and captained the Welsh Schools team before moving to the USA to study.

Mr Roberts played for Bangor City, Bethesda and Llangefni before accepting a scholarship at Furman University, in South Carolina, and continued his football education overseas.

He later played in the American Professional League for the New Mexico Chillies, in Albuquerque, and became their player manager, aged 27, in 1989.

In 1991 Mr Roberts returned to Wales to work as Anglesey's football development officer and managed Porthmadog, before taking up the technical director role with the FAW Trust.

In that role, he has developed a reputation as a world class coach educator and runs courses for some of biggest names in the game, like Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly and Patrick Vieira, who learn their trade alongside some of the brightest Welsh coaches.

His role has also given him the opportunity to lead our national U16 team to two Victory Shields and he became Gary Speed's assistant manager in the senior men's squad in 2010, and continued in the role when Chris Coleman took over in 2012, playing a major role in the team's success at EURO 2016.

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Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07496 385597
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk