Former Manchester United graduate happy with new home at Bognor Regis Town
Bognor’s latest acquisition Kayne Diedrick-Roberts revealed the club’s playing style and loyal support were instrumental in his decision to sign a permanent deal with the Rocks.
The 22-year-old was introduced to the club after Rocks striker Jordy Mongoy, who had previously played alongside him at IK Gauthiod in Sweden, learned of his availability.
Diedrick-Roberts explained: “The signing came really out of the blue to be honest. I was in Sweden and Jordy told me about the club and said that they played good football, so I came down to watch them play and I instantly felt like I could do well here."
“I knew Bognor played good football but seeing it first-hand was even better. They move the ball quickly on the floor and take positive risks, which really suits my style of play. There aren’t many teams in the league that play in this way, so when I heard there was interest, it was hard to turn down,” he admitted.
Diedrick-Roberts experienced an illustrious start to his career, representing both Fulham and Manchester United at youth level from the age of 13. Although a career in top-flight football hasn’t yet materialised, the youngster is grateful for the experience, as it helped him to mature both physically and psychologically.
“There was a lot of competition, especially at a club like United. They had the money to scout young players from all around the world. It was hard at times but mentally it really helped me, because I realised I couldn’t just walk into any club. It was a real learning curve,” he explained.
During his time at the Manchester United academy, the winger regularly shared the field with Marcus Rashford, who has significantly elevated his career both on and off the pitch in recent seasons. According to Diedrick-Roberts, the England international was a perfect role-model, possessing both the ability and humility to succeed.
“He was always destined for greatness. I remember on my first day there, I genuinely felt he should be in the first team, but he was a very humble guy and always kept himself grounded.
"When I was in the academy and playing with him every day, the talent he had was plain to see – and now he’s taken his opportunity. It isn’t surprising to see all that he’s achieved outside football too, because that’s the type of guy he is," revealed the Manchester United graduate.
However, despite training at one of the country’s most esteemed academies, Diedrick-Roberts decided to take a break from football after his time in Manchester, explaining: “When you leave that sort of academy, you feel another club is just around the corner, but it doesn’t always work like that. It was a real reality check and I just felt I needed some time out of the game to think about everything."
The Rocks’ new signing is no stranger to the Isthmian Premier, having represented both Greenwich and Lewes before his short spell in Sweden. Now in his new home, Diedrick-Roberts is eager to showcase his talents to the Bognor faithful and repay them for their warm welcome.
“Everyone’s been very good to me when I’ve come to watch the games - even the fans. It feels like home, which was another big reason why I signed. Hopefully, I can please the fans by playing well and affecting the games with goals and assists,” he said.