Evans: Pompey can be in the mix in League One next season
Two years of hard work have finally paid off.
I came to Pompey with a single goal in mind – promotion.
Of course, I have had other personal goals along the course of the last two seasons, but they pale an insignificance when compared to the ultimate ambition.
So to hear that final whistle go at the end of yet another tough shift at Notts County, it was utter jubilation, relief and joy.
Every player that has come to the club in the past two years have played their part, as has every member of staff.
From the manager, right down to people like the chef and the groundsmen, they all richly deserve the plaudits they aren’t likely to receive.
I have been part of another promotion team at Fleetwood Town when we won the League Two play-off final against Burton Albion at Wembley.
But to achieve promotion at a club like this makes the one at Fleetwood seem somewhat lame by comparison.
To get off the coach at Fratton Park after arriving back from Meadow Lane and seeing swarms of Pompey fans awaiting us, and belting out song after song was brilliant.
I started to realise the magnitude of what we had achieved.
There were so many happy faces all wearing blue.
It will go down as one of the best days of my life – and certainly the best in my career.
The weight of expectation, though, when you play for a club like this, does have its negatives at times.
For a fair few of us, it has taken a while to acclimatise at Fratton Park.
When you lose a game, it really does feel like the world is ending.
That feeling often doesn’t leave you until the following Saturday when you have the chance to redeem yourself.
It is becoming used to the fact we aren’t going to win every game and having the ability to see the bigger picture – that is what has seen us over the line.
So we can all enjoy the rest of the season and look forward to a well-earned rest over the summer.
I’m sure there will be players’ coming and going during the summer transfer window, which is standard protocol at most clubs these days.
But the gaffer has made a point of saying he will be loyal to players that have played their part.
There have been some key performers here throughout this season.
I think it is essential that we keep as much of the backbone of this campaign’s team as possible.
I really believe this team would have fared well had we been in League One this season.
So with a couple of additions in the summer, I fancy Pompey to really kick on again next year.
We can continue our momentum that we have built this season.
I think we can be right in the mix come this time next May.
Whatever happens, though, the players who are unfortunate to leave this summer will always look back on that game at Notts County with a smile.