Brady felt Roberts was a risk worth taking and admits Horsfall 'frustration'

Goalkeeper would only sign one-year deal at Sixfields

By James Heneghan
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:54 am

Cobblers boss Jon Brady has maintained his belief that signing Liam Roberts on a one-year deal was a risk worth taking despite knowing he would probably lose the goalkeeper within 12 months should he live up to his potential at Sixfields.

Northampton have made a habit of signing players on two-year contracts since Brady took over as permanent boss in May 2021, but Roberts would only agree to join the club from Walsall last summer if it was a a one-year deal.

Brady was aware that would leave Cobblers in a vulnerable position this summer and so it has proven after the 27-year-old signed for Middlesbrough on a free transfer. Nonetheless, the Town boss felt Roberts’ superb season made it a worthwhile gamble.

Liam Roberts

"I knew all about the situation with Robbo when he joined the club,” said Brady. “He signed for one season and we tried to make it longer at the time but he told us what he wanted.

"I would rather have had him for that season. We both knew together that it probably would be just the one season if he did that well and I think everyone saw that it was worth having Robbo for that season.

"I accepted the situation because I saw the potential in Liam. I don’t think many people expected him to be as good as he was for us but he just grew and grew in confidence.

"But I don’t think anyone at this football club wouldn’t have had him for that one season and that’s something I accepted. We knew we could lose him but, on the flip side of that, we have managed to secure Lee Burge and we still have Jonny Maxted so we have two fantastic goalkeepers here and I’m really pleased to have both.”

Brady will also be without Fraser Horsfall next season after the defender signed a lucrative three-year deal with League Two rivals Stockport.

Brady added: "It’s an obvious frustration to have lost Fraser to a club in the same division but I don’t think you can begrudge him what he’s now going to be earning.

"Financially, he couldn’t turn it down. We operate in a sensible manner and within our means and Fraser’s done what he needed to do.”