Signing news: Teenage striker Roberts joins Central Coast Mariners

One of Sydney's hottest striking talents, John Roberts, has signed a scholarship contract for Central Coast Mariners.

Roberts, 18, has been on trial for Alen Stajcic's side for a number of weeks and scored a hat-trick in the club's pre-season clash with North Shore Mariners in September.

He has previously shone in the academy teams of Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers. 

“For me, and for my family, this is really big,” Roberts said.

“It was tough since I left Western Sydney, trying to figure out where I was going to be.”

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“Staj gave me a chance to come here and play and train at the Mariners, it’s not something I’m going to take lightly and I feel like I owe Staj and the club so I will try to reward them now.”

Born in Guinea after his parents fled war-torn Sierra Leone, Roberts arrived in Australia before he turned 10 years old. 

Most recently, he has been on the books of NPL NSW club Mt Druitt Town Rangers. 

"He has impressed us with his work rate, his footballing ability and also his attitude around the club," said Mariners boss Stajcic. 

“He’s a hard worker and this is a big chance for him to show us what we know he can be, given his time formerly in the Joeys and also as a Young Socceroo.”

“This follows on from Lewis [Miller] signing and Sammy Silvera and shows the Mariners are a club that is ready to provide opportunities to our talented young players.”