In the first of our six part series we focus on the emergence into the first team of Roman Golobart.
Giant Spanish defender Roman Golobart signed for Latics in August 2009 at the tender age of 17 and has been working hard and biding his time since, with a loan spell last season at Scottish Premier League side Inverness CT adding to his stock.
This season was a break-through campaign for Golobart as he made his club debut against AFC Bournemouth (pictured right) in the third round of the FA Cup, starting off an impressive run in the competition.
It was a memorable January for the son of former Espanyol defender Joan Golobart, as he played 90 minutes four times, helping Latics to victory in the Bournemouth replay and against Macclesfield Town in the fourth round.
His efforts in the FA Cup didn’t go unnoticed and at the end of the month Golobart was given his Premier League debut against Stoke City, a challenge he expressed that he was ready for.
The 21-year-old said:
“The gaffer told me that Stoke away (pictured left) was the hardest Premier League game to be a defender in because of the way that they play.
“There were no surprises for me in that game because I expected a physical battle.
“With that game it was a matter of keeping concentration because we knew we had to be clever about timing challenges in the air for the ball.
“It was the perfect game to have my Premier League debut because the style of play we were up against suited me.”
Golobart started the season on loan at League One Tranmere Rovers where he made two appearances during a short-term spell and despite that period being cut back, the defender said he never lacked in confidence about his future with Wigan Athletic.
“It was only a brief loan spell that I had with Tranmere but it set me up well for what became a good period in my career.
“It (playing in the first team) is something I’ve always been confident of doing if I work hard enough.
“I think I worked very hard this season and to get my Premier League debut was a big deal for me.
“It wasn’t something I was surprised about but that doesn’t me I don’t value it, because I highly value the experience and the chance the gaffer gave me.
“I’m confident in myself because I believe that if you try and work hard enough then you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.”
Golobart is yet to lose a game for Latics and featured in four of the six victories during the historic FA Cup run (Golobart pictured right celebrating).
The former Spain Under 17 international said he regards the FA Cup triumph as more than just an accolade for the players though and that he knows it means a lot to everybody else.
“To be part of the club has been an incredible honour and it was really nice to be involved in the earlier rounds of our FA Cup run.
“It was the time when we needed to get the job done facing opposition in lower leagues but we did it well and progressed.
“Winning the FA Cup was a brilliant moment for the club and I was really happy for a lot of people.
“It was great for people that have been working here for years and years like the Doctor (Mike Ashworth pictured) who saw his first game in the 1960s and said he never thought for a moment that the club would win the
“He started working for the club in the 1980s, 11 years before I was born so for the team to provide such a memory for someone who has been connected with the club for so long is very rewarding.
“I imagine there are plenty of people like the Doctor who have been waiting all of their lives for a moment like May 11.
“We produced an amazing feeling in so many people and for that we can all be proud.”
Roman is the first of six players in the My Season series, as we catch up with Jordi Gomez this time next week.