Flourishing Evans gives hope to cross-channel rejects
IN a week where Irish youngsters across the water are coming to terms with unemployment, Adam Evans is another advertisement for making a fresh start back in Ireland.
The left winger, who scored a crucial equaliser for Bohemians in Monday's draw with Cork, tasted rejection at Burnley and Inverness.
But Evans, who turned 21 on the eve of the meeting with the Leesiders, has enjoyed a new lease of life under the tutelage of Keith Long and feels that senior football is bringing about serious improvement.
"In Burnley and Inverness, it was all youth and reserve-team football," he explained. "Coming back and getting a taste of first-team football is great - it's hard to get used to it but it's much better.
"It's what you have to be doing at this stage, playing senior football and getting minutes under the belt. Playing in the reserves at the age of 20 is no good."
Evans played his schoolboy football at Belvedere as part of a generation that is doing reasonably well in the game.
Darragh Lenihan has broken into the first team at Blackburn, while Sean Kavanagh has become a regular and firm fans' favourite at Fulham.
And there's a strong Belvedere flavour in the Bohs dressing room.
"Kealan Dillon was on my team at Belvo," Evans revealed. "Roberto Lopes, Keith Buckley and Dano Byrne were on the older teams as well so I know a lot of them."
Bohs have turned heads this season and sit fifth in the table, with expectations raised by stirring displays in the opening round of games.
Evans, who was originally brought to the club by Owen Heary, feels he is at the right place to further his development.
"Keith has shown a lot of faith in me, he shows faith in the whole squad," he says. "It's great to play under him and I'm getting more game time than I was last year so I feel more confident.
"We've done well and have to keep that going for the whole season. There's not one team that has broken us down or played us off the park in the first series of games so we need to keep pushing on and be confident. I just need experience at this age, that's the most important thing and then push on and go as far as I can. The goal on Monday was my fourth of the season and I'm pleased with that."
Meanwhile, it's understood that Linfield will not be participating in this year's Setanta Cup despite a schedule change to the summer which was intended to help Northern Irish participants
The eight-team tournament is pencilled in for a start towards the end of June to aid preparations for Europe but the Belfast giants - who opted out of last year's renewal - have indicated that they will opt out again for reasons of timing. League of Ireland clubs have been told the draw will take place tomorrow but there has been no official announcement from the organisers.