The 2018/19 season was a breakthrough campaign for Kelle Roos who reflected on hard work and a strong bond within the squad that guided Derby County to Wembley.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper made the most appearances in his four full seasons with the Rams 24 in total, as he made the position his own in the second half of the season after an injury sidelined Scott Carson.
Roos believes the mixture of the squad, that saw an injection of youth last summer with nine new signings including young loan stars Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Harry Wilson, as well as the breakthrough by the likes of academy product Jayden Bogle, provided a good blend with the experienced players in the team.
“We have got a good mixture of young, older experienced players and new players break through and I think that mix has paid off a lot for us,” Roos explained when speaking to RamsTV.
“I think we can look back to a lot of hard work, that’s where it all started and we will have to go back to that. That is the only thing we can do and think right now, rest up, clear the heads and go again.”
A brilliant campaign saw the Rams secure the final play-off place on the last day of the regular season and overcome a 2-0 deficit to defeat Leeds United 4-3 over two legs in the Play-Off Semi-Finals to book their place at Wembley in the Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.
Roos believes that most outsiders wouldn’t have predicted the team to get that far.
The shot-stopper spoke of his hurt after losing out 2-1 Aston Villa to earn promotion and feels that the special journey that Frank Lampard’s side have taken together this season made it even harder.
“We feel a lot of pain, we are gutted. We got so close,” Roos explained.
“I think that no-one backed us for the play-offs through that type of situation, even a couple of weeks before the play-offs when we had a bit of a tough time.
“We stuck together as a group and we got very close and were very strong. That showed in the final, but that is even more so why it hurts.”