‘I can’t give a guarantee to anyone’ – Moneyfields boss Glenn Turnbull after Mr Versatile Rob Evans leaves to join Wessex League rivals Baffins Milton Rovers

Moneyfields boss Glenn Turnbull bid a reluctant farewell to Rob Evans after being unable to guarantee him regular first team action.

By Simon Carter
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 8:18 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 8:30 am

Evans started 39 of Moneys’ 40 Wessex League Premier Division games last season after returning to Dover Road following a spell with AFC Portchester.

Only defender Tom Cain started as many league games as Evans did, with Callum Glen (34) and Dec Seiden (32) the next highest.

Overall, Evans started 51 of Moneys’ 56 first team fixtures, coming on as a sub once. Cain, with 48, boasted the next highest starts.

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Rob Evans, left, has left Moneyfields to join Wessex League neighbours Baffins Milton Rovers. Picture: Keith Woodland

Evans captained the team when Steve Hutchings was unavailable, and offered Turnbull an outlet at right wing-back or as part of a central back three. He also played in midfield and was once deployed at left-back.

But the versatile player has now signed for Portsea Island neighbours Baffins Milton Rovers, becoming an early piece of new boss Danny Thompson’s squad rebuilding jigsaw.

‘Rob asked for a guarantee that he would be playing a similar level of games next season, and I wasn’t able to give him that guarantee,’ Turnbull told The News.

‘It’s not just Rob, I couldn’t give that guarantee to anyone - Hutchings, Seiden, Laycock.

‘I wanted him to stay around and fight for his place - the stats last season tell you he would probably have played more often than not. But he messaged to say he wasn’t happy.

‘He goes with my best wishes. With the changes they’ve had at Baffins, he’ll probably get the football he wants.’

Turnbull added: ‘I know Rob played most games last season but there were many Thursday afternoons when he wasn’t in the starting XI or 16, but circumstances happened.

‘Jack Chandler ended last season (at right wing-back) really well. He might well have played in the (Portsmouth Senior Cup) final had he not been cup tied (instead of Evans).

‘Rob offered us versatility last year, but that versatility could have hindered him next season. He’s not someone like Harry Sargeant, who can say ‘I’m a central midfielder - this is where I play.’

‘I want two players competing for every position, and I’m in no mad panic to bring anyone else in.

‘In midfield, there’s Harry Sargeant, Callum Glen, Jordan Pile, Danny Burroughs and young Rafferty (Boyd-Kerr).

‘At right wing-back there’s Jack Chandler and Chad Cornwell, with Elliott (Turnbull) and Josh Hazell offering you different things at left wing-back.

‘We’ve got Tom Price back to challenge Callum McGeorge in goal.

‘In the centre (of defence) there’s Jack Lee, Tom Cain, Harry Birmingham, Corey Heath, Harry Birmingham and Crippo (Adam Cripps)

‘Up front there’s Hutchings, Seiden, Laycock, Joe Briggs, Franko (James Franklyn) with Josh Bailey and Evan Harris as young back-up.’