'˜Honoured' Evans speaks of his Pompey pride

Gareth Evans has spoken of his Pompey pride after being installed as vice-captain.

Wednesday, 26th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:11 am
Gareth Evans sporting the captain's armband at Havant earlier this month. Picture: Joe Pepler

The popular performer was swiftly identified as leadership material following Kenny Jackett’s Fratton Park arrival.

After serving as skipper in early pre-season games, that responsibility has now been handed to new recruit Brett Pitman.

But Evans has been officially recognised by Jackett as the Blues’ vice-captain for the campaign ahead.

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The 29-year-old admitted the decision came as a shock – with no previous experience in either role.

Yet his standing among the Pompey squad was enough to convince Jackett.

Evans said: ‘The gaffer pulled me aside last week and asked how I felt about being vice-captain. Well, it’s an important role within the club and a massive honour.

‘If you’d have told me two years ago when I came down to the club this would happen I probably would have laughed at you! But I’m very, very proud.

‘It was a bit of a shock to be honest but the gaffer told me it was something he was looking at based on my age, experience and the number of games I’d played.

‘When Brett (Pitman) came in it wasn’t really a surprise he was made captain but the gaffer still had me in mind as the vice-captain and I’m really honoured.

‘I have never had anything like it, that’s why it was a bit of a surprise.

‘I’ve never seen myself as captaincy material but as I’ve got older I suppose I have become a bit more vocal and played a fair few games.

‘I think that’s what the gaffer noticed and put me in that position.

‘So I’m just going to shout at the lads as much as I can!’

Evans has made 93 appearances and scored 16 goals since his Pompey arrival in July 2015.

Initially a triallist, the midfielder earned a 12-month deal with an option under Paul Cook.

Since then he has been a regular in the Blues’ first-team, establishing himself as a crowd favourite.

The former Fleetwood man signed a new two-year contract in May and is expected to keep his place at right-back under Jackett. Cook didn’t appoint a vice-captain during his two years at Fratton Park, with Michael Doyle his skipper.

Doyle’s close-season departure for Coventry ensured the honour was up for grabs when Jackett took over the helm.

Pitman has now taken on that responsibility – and Evans believes he can also contribute a different voice from elsewhere on the pitch.

He added: ‘Brett is at the top of the pitch as the captain and can organise from there.

‘With the position I’m in, I have a lot of players in front of me so can see the pitch a lot better and help out positionally with the other lads.

‘Then off the pitch it’s about organizing and keeping the team bonded.’