Roberts is still yet to receive proper treatment since 2019 (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)
BOSS Tom Killick has revealed the injury hell Luke Roberts has endured over the past two years, whilst also drawing comparisons between teenager Joe Wickham and his former star man.
Despite helping to unearth Charlie Austin, who after grabbing 64 goals in 57 Wessex League appearances for Poole made his way up the pyramid to the Premier League, Killick labelled Roberts the “best player” he had managed in his near two decades as Dolphins manager.
Speaking to All Poole Aren’t We, Killick said: “It’s just tragic. He is the best talent I have ever seen in my 17 years being here, the best player I’ve ever managed.
“It’s just horrific. One of the biggest disappointments of my managerial career is the situation with Luke.”
Roberts ruptured ligaments in his knee for the second time in April 2019, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is still yet to receive treatment.
“Luke still hasn’t had his operation,” Killick continued.
“Because all of the operations have been put on hold because of COVID.
“I just hope he does have it soon, he gets back to playing football, because he provides absolute joy to anyone who watches.”
Wickham signed Southern League forms with Dolphins this close season after contributing double digits for Merley Cobham Sports in the Dorset Premier League, helping the side to two trophies and a total goal haul of 135 for the season.
The youngster made his debut off the bench during Dolphins’ 3-1 defeat to Farnborough last weekend.
“Young Joe Wickham, we’re really excited about him. He reminds me a bit of Luke Roberts, when Luke first came to the club. It was good to have him in the squad midweek.
Killick’s comments should cause excitement amongst Poole fans that revere livewire Roberts, whose performances lit up the National South and drew the attention of Bristol City, Forest Green Rovers and Reading.
Dolphins boss also revealed that he was in constant contact with former player Shaun Cooper in regard to any potential loanees from Cherries.
However, with multiple youngsters being given opportunities in the first team at the Vitality stadium, Killick is unsure whether he will see any reinforcements sent his way.
“Without saying too much, I think perhaps Bournemouth’s senior squad is not as filled out as much as in the past, so perhaps it is more difficult for them to send people out.
“I talk to Shaun Cooper on a fairly regular basis, and if there gets to be a situation where we can take someone we think will improve us and also the player, then we’ll look into doing it.”