Gareth Evans' Portsmouth column: Why I can't hide my delight for Conor Chaplin sealing Barnsley move from Coventry

Gareth Evans is one of Pompey’s most popular players. Now, in a second of four columns, he toasts former Fratton team-mate Conor Chaplin’s move to Barnsley from Coventry…

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 10:18 am
Conor Chaplin, left, and Gareth Evans celebrate Pompey's League Two title triumph in May 2017. Picture: Joe Pepler

So many players have come and gone in my four years here at Portsmouth.

I’m not afraid of saying some of them didn’t make an impact on me or the club.

That can’t be said of the ‘little man’.

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Always a bundle of energy on and off the pitch, his infectious personality was hard to dislike.

Of course, the fans took to Conor Chaplin because of his goals and contributions on the field but off it, he was also a hit for me.

He always had a smile on his face, a great sense of humour and time for anyone whether that’s players, staff or fans.

Add the fact he was a great finisher and works his socks off into the equation and it all adds up to a very likeable guy.

I was admittedly sad to see him leave Fratton Park in August 2018 but ultimately it was a decision he had to make. For four years straight he simply didn’t play as much as he would’ve liked.

Chappers didn’t want to be known as a super sub (which he most certainly was) and he was keen on being a regular starter in the Football League – no-one can blame him for that.

I’m delighted his contributions at Coventry have led to him moving up to the Championship with Barnsley.

When it happens to a lovely, humble, hard-working lad you’re always that little bit happier for them.

Time will tell if he can make that step up and become a regular player and scorer for the Tykes but would any Portsmouth fan bet against seeing his name regularly on the scoresheet next season? Probably not.

Very few lads have moved up the football pyramid when they’ve left Fratton Park since I arrived here, but Conor has and his sublime finishing is undoubtedly the common denominator for that.

Whatever happens in this next chapter in his career, he’s still one of our own and I know I’m not alone in wishing him the best of luck.