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Football: Video star Rogers lands Blades deal; United sign keeper on strength of film clips.

Byline: ANDY GILPIN

IT took just six minutes for First Division Sheffield United to make up their mind to sign former Wrexham keeper Kristian Rogers.

That was the duration of a video highlights package the 22-year-old sent the Bramall Lane club when he discovered the Blades were on the lookout for a new goalkeeper.

After enlisting the help of production company Shadow Films to put together a short montage of his finest moments, Rogers saw his brain wave pay off yesterday when he he put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the FA and Worthington Cup semi-finalists.

``I don't think any player has done something like this before,''he said. ``My agent came up with the idea.

``They (Shadow Films) have been used to doing things like weddings,documentaries and corporate films, so this was a bit of a departure for them. But I didn't think we had anything to lose and in fact we gained quite a lot.''

Rogers and the film company sifted through tapes of the keeper's performances,fused together the best bits before jazzing the video up with a sound track and an introduction from the former England schoolboy international.

Blades man anger Neil Warnock and his coaching staff then viewed the tape and invited Rogers up to Sheffield to sign the deal, without even giving him a trial.

``After my release we targeted clubs who were in need of goalkeepers,'' explained Rogers. ``My agent then followed them up and luckily Sheffield United turned out to be interested. After releasing Simon Tracey, they've only got Paddy Kenny there, so it looks like I'm second-choice.

``I'll just have to do well in pre-season and grab my chance when it comes along.''

But even though Rogers was delighted to sign for the Bramall Lane side, he admitted to some regrets over turning down a move to Swansea after talks with former Dragons boss Brian Flynn,now manager at the Vetch Field,last week had progressed well.

``I'm sorry I didn't go there because I liked what Brian had to say,''he said.``He knows me and has faith in me,but when the chance to go into the First Division came up I had to take it.''

And although the Chester-born stopper will now relocate to Yorkshire,he hopes to still be a regular visitor at the Racecourse.

``I've spent about 12 years of my life there and Wrexham are a very important club to me,''he said.``I'll still pop in from time to time to see old friends. ``This has been a complete turnaround for me. Six months ago I was third choice at Wrexham. Now I'm with a First Division club. But I think Wrexham have good keepers in Andy Dibble and Paul Whitfield. To be fair,Paul is a very good up-and-coming keeper and he is progressing.

``On top of that they've got a youngster called Dan Evans, who is one to keep an eye on.''

WREXHAM have arranged a pre-season friendly match with Huddersfield Town on Saturday,August 2 (kick-off 3pm).

CAPTION(S):

Rogers (far right)and ex-teammates (l-r)Steve Roberts and Shaun Holmes celebrating Wrexham's promotion last season
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2003
Words:528
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