Experienced defender wants to continue professional playing career.

Gareth Roberts says he is keen to continue his playing career as a professional, after being told his contract at the Rams will not be renewed.

The experienced defender has been notified that his current deal, which is due to expire on 1st July, will not be extended, and he will therefore leave the club for pastures new over the summer.

The 35-year-old has made 31 appearances for the Rams this season, and has also combined his playing role with some coaching in the club’s Academy.

However, despite his foray into coaching, Roberts admits he is still very keen to continue his playing career, which has spanned over 14 years.

He told Rams Player: “I have had a really good time here; playing with the lads, who are a great bunch and I would love to play for another three or four years. 

"I am 35 years old and I am still feeling fit and strong - I am enjoying my football and I love coming in every day.

"Hopefully I can sort something out and continue playing for a few more years.

"Admittedly, I have loved coaching the kids, I have done it quite a few times now. 

"The set-up and the facilities the kids have here are fantastic, so to come in and work with them and put on a few sessions, has been brilliant.

"I have just passed my level two and I start my B License in Manchester in the coming weeks."

After initially penning a two-year deal with the Rams from Doncaster Rovers in 2010, Roberts has been a mainstay of Nigel Clough’s side ever since.

The former Liverpool trainee has made 103 appearances for the Rams in his three-year spell at Pride Park, and Roberts believes that this season has been another step in the right direction, and that supporters have a lot to be excited for.

“The personnel has changed an awful lot, and I think this season is the first season the Gaffer has had a side that he wanted," said Roberts.

"I think we are quite close. I know we are only half way up in the table at the minute, but we are a lot closer than people think.

"Derby have been a lot more consistent this year, and our home record has been fantastic. 

"Hopefully the manager can keep hold of the younger boys; Jeff (Hendrick) and Will (Hughes) have been fantastic, not forgetting Richard (Keogh) at the back.

"If we can keep hold of them and then sign a few experienced players over the summer, then it could be exciting times for Derby County next season."

Watch the full interview with Gareth Roberts exclusively on Rams Player.