Wimbledon midfielder Andy Roberts joined Norwich on loan on 24th
January 2002 for a month. The arrival of the former England under-21
star, who was out of favour at Selhurst Park, gave Worthington
an extra option in the centre of the park with Phil
Mulryne then out of action with an ankle injury and Darel
Russell facing the possibility of a three-match suspension
Roberts was available for six games, starting with the visit
to Crewe and ending with the trip to Watford on February 26, and
spoke of his delight at being handed the chance to kick-start
his career. "This is a really good chance for me and I'm
determined to make the most of it," he said. "It hasn't
been easy for last two months. I've been out of the first team
at Wimbledon and have been training with the reserves so when
Terry Burton (the Wimbledon boss) rang me and said Norwich were
interested in taking me on loan for a month I didn't take too
Roberts, 27, was a virtual ever-present in the Wimbledon
side during the early stages of this season and played in the
1-0 home defeat at the hands of the Canaries in August, but lost
his place in November and hasn't had a look-in since with players
like Damien Francis, Michael Hughes, Trond Andersen and recent
signing Hakan Mild all ahead of him in the pecking order. "I'm
still not sure what I did wrong," he said. "I
wasn't expecting to be in the starting line-up at the beginning
of the season but because of injuries I got in and I think I did
a good job. I played for the first 20 games but all of sudden
Terry decided to bring other players in and I was out in the cold
which I found very upsetting. It hasn't been a particularly happy
spell for me but now I've got another chance to show what I can
do and I'm grateful to Nigel Worthington for that."
Roberts became the second Wimbledon player to join City on loan
in less than a month, following in the footsteps of David
Nielsen who has been a stunning success since arriving at
Carrow Road and has earned himself a permanent contract. No-one
was looking that far ahead just yet with this deal but
it remained a possibility with the midfielder out of contract
at the end of the season and likely to available for a small fee.
Worthington spoke of his delight at getting another player in
at such a vital stage of the season, telling the club's official
website: "Andy is an experienced midfielder and gives
us another body in the midfield area"
Andy began his career with Milwall, making 132 appearances before
joining Palace in July 1995 for £2.25million. After 106
games for the Eagles, he joined Wimbledon in March 1998 for £2million
Roberts' loan period with the Canaries was extended for a second
month at the end of February 2002. However hopes of a permanent
move might be complicated if the media are accurate in reporting
Coventry's interest. Norwich opted not to extend Andy's loan for
a third month / to the end of the season and so he returned to
South London on 28th March 2002.
Released by Wimbledon at the end of the season, Andy trained
with both Walsall and Brighton during the 2002 pre-season and
was expected to sign for the Seagulls after impressing in friendlies.
However the deal fell through and on 13th August 2002, he rejoined
Millwall on a one month trial contract. Millwall bos Mark McGhee
challenged him to prove that he was still a million pound player.
A falling-out with new Millwall manager Dennis Wise and a knee
injury ended his career and he left Millwall in June 2005. He
is now working as a property developer.