Evans relishing return of ex-Pompey room-mate

Gareth Evans is congratulated by Ben Davies following his goal against Hartlepool last season
Gareth Evans is congratulated by Ben Davies following his goal against Hartlepool last season
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ben Davies tomorrow returns to Fratton Park.

And for Gareth Evans it presents the opportunity to reunite with his much-missed Pompey room-mate.

He was really good in the changing room, the lads loved him to bits, and he’s a really top lad

Gareth Evans

Grimsby are the opposition for tomorrow evening’s fixture (7.45pm) as Paul Cook’s men seek to enhance their promotion aspirations.

Likely to be on the Mariners’ bench is Davies, who left the south coast in the summer after a new deal could not be agreed.

The right-back scooped a number of supporters’ player-of-the-season awards last term as he established himself as a popular Pompey performer.

Now his home is Blundell Park, where he has this season made 22 appearances, although Zac Mills is currently ahead of him in the side.

Regardless, Evans is looking forward to meeting up with his former playing colleague.

He said: ‘I still speak to Ben quite a bit, he’s a really good lad.

‘If I am honest, I was really sad to see him go in the summer.

‘He was my room-mate for away trips, we became good mates, and it will be nice to see him, shake his hand and see how he is getting on.

‘He was really good in the changing room, the lads loved him to bits, and he’s a really top lad.

‘Ben’s actually one of the best professionals I have played with, always in the gym doing weights and keeping on top of his fitness.

‘Not only was he a good professional, but a good lad around the place. He’s been popular wherever he’s been, he’s that kind of guy.

‘I was a bit gutted to see him depart, but that’s football, players come and go, but it’s nice we have remained in touch.’

Davies made 51 appearances as Pompey last season reached the League Two play-offs.

The free-agent’s swashbuckling attacks down the right flank swiftly earned him the affections of the Fratton faithful.

As a result, he was chosen by six different supporters’ groups to be the recipient of player-of-the-season tropies, while finished as runner-up for The News/Sports Mail accolade.

Evans added: ‘Ben’s had a bit of a stop-start season at Grimsby with a couple of injuries. Then they had a reasonable run of results and he hasn’t played a whole lot since.

‘He’s enjoying it, though, his missus is from up there, he has bought a house and is settled. It will be great to catch up.’