To Peter Roberts, Sunday League football is as good at it comes. It might not be the Premier League, but it is everything and more to the veteran footballer.
From playing football for Tonandgeii at youth level to still playing for Ferndale’s veteran side now, Roberts epitomises what Rhondda Valley football is about.
The player-come-manager’s first book, Park Life, follows four seasons of MaindyCon FC, a local Rhondda team, something that began as a memento he would then reminisce with at presentation night.
“Rather than give out prizes, I would keep a summary of every game that season, and then present it to everyone. It was a nice snapshot over four seasons” Roberts said.
Most young footballer’s dreams are to make it to the top level; why wouldn’t it be? That’s where the most money is, the most exposure and where the best players, play. Roberts differentiates between Sunday League and the highest level of football, and it’s clear which one is his favourite.
“[Sunday League] is different to professional sport. The Premier League is becoming unachievable; in Sunday League, you go to play with your mates.”
“You can lose, but then after a few days it’s all forgotten about.”
Roberts emphasised the togetherness that Sunday League football can bring, whether it be within the community or within the club and league itself.
“The people behind the scenes such as league secretaries, chairman’s, treasurers etc, are the unsung heroes really.
“It’s the sports teams, the pubs and the clubs that keep the community together. I wanted to capture football at the heart of the community and things that surrounded the club as well” he said.
Now the 46-year old might not be as fit or fast as he once was, but there is still fire in his belly and he doesn’t plan on giving up the game he loves anytime soon.