Sam Turner – @sam_turner97
Sam discusses new Gull Kieron Evans
The third of Torquay’s new signings on June 30th was Cardiff City loanee Kieron Evans. The versatile Evans, 20, will be keen to show his parent club that he has the physicality and technical ability required to succeed in the senior game. I take a deeper look into what makes him such an exciting prospect for the Gulls this season.
Born in Brithdir, Wales, Kieron Evans has been playing high level football for most of his life so far. Starting with Cardiff City all the way back in the under 10s he has been a highly rated talent for the Bluebirds ever since. Evans is a very versatile player who can play on both wings, using both feet, but also in the number 10 position.
The first time he truly shined was for the u18s in the 2019/20 season when he finished as the team’s top scorer, bringing him to the attention of then manager Neil Harris. He was then selected for the first time in the senior squad for an EFL Cup first round tie against Northampton Town (September 20200, though he was an unused substitute. He was first selected for a league squad in December 2020 but was again an unused sub.
His efforts in the youth teams were not going unnoticed by other teams however, as Newcastle United, Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom all registered their interest in the player during the 2020/21 season. But Evans reaffirmed his commitment to the club by signing a new two year deal last summer.
His reward for this loyalty was his first few senior appearances in the 21/22 season, starting with his debut as a sub in a 2-1 victory against (now Premier League) Nottingham Forest in September 2021. Following a loan move to Linfield FC (Northern Ireland) for the second half of the 21/22 season his club have decided that a stint in the National League would be good for his development, hence his appearance in Torquay United yellow for the 2022/23 season.
As mentioned above, Evans has the very useful ability to play on both wings. His crossing and dribbling are two of his biggest strengths, along with the ability to use both feet. He can also be deployed as a number 10 if needed as his passing isn’t too shabby either. All in all a player that could definitely take the pressure off Gary’s side, what with the National League’s strange insistence on only being allowed 5 substitutes on the bench. A handy highlights package from the club showing off Evans and his variety of skills can be seen below.
POSITION – LW/RW/CAM
DATE OF BIRTH – 19/12/2001
HEIGHT – 1.74m
BIRTHPLACE – Brithdir, Wales
PREVIOUS CLUBS – Cardiff City, Linfield FC
STATS 21-22 – Championship: Played 5, Goals 0, Yellow/Red Cards 0/0
Kieron Evans on his move to the Gulls – “I’m excited,” began Kieron. “I had a good start to the season, played a few good games, did well, and then went out on loan in (Northern) Ireland. It was a different experience, but it helped me a lot, made me grow up a bit, and now I’m ready for this new challenge. I understood the Gaffer, I knew what he wanted. I’ve watched a few of Torquay’s games from last season, and I thought in my head ‘I can play in those games’. I can bring goals and assists, definitely. I’m good one-v-one, and with both feet. I’m delighted, and I can’t wait to get started!”
Most/Least Likely To
Most Likely To:
- Provide the threat from the wide positions that we have very much lacked since losing Nemane and Whitfield last summer.
- Inject some pace and dribbling (but with end product this time) into the team.
- Use both his feet.
Least Likely To:
- Be a long term solution for the club, if he does well then Cardiff will be eager to get him back.
All in all it seems like a very interesting signing for the club. In all likelihood the best we can maybe hope for is that he does so well in the first half of the season that he gets recalled maybe in January, having given us a good platform to build on for the rest of the season. I feel like that might be better than an entire season of average performances. That’s the risk of loan transfers in our position unfortunately, but we need to take every advantage we can possibly get over the course of a long season. It will be nice to see some more variety and creativity in the side, as well as someone who can reliably play multiple positions. He should be very useful for us for however long he stays.