"It couldn't have gone better" - New signing Evans on his dream debut for The Shaymen

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As first impressions go, Jack Evans couldn't have made a better one.

The versatile new signing produced a man-of-the-match display and scored the opening goal in Halifax's 2-0 win over Bromley on Saturday.

Evans's signing was only announced days earlier after he had spent pre-season on trial with The Shaymen.

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"I was buzzing with it, on the back of signing in the week and then coming into the team for the first game, it couldn't have gone better," he told the Courier.

Jack EvansJack Evans
Jack Evans

"I was pleased for all the boys to get the three points.

"I was initially just getting myself settled in the game because it was my first start in the National League, so I grew into it.

"Getting a full 90 under my belt and having that confidence just makes me want to push on."

Evans says he has loved his time at Halifax so far, having joined the club from Hereford, where he was named young player of the year last season.

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Jack EvansJack Evans
Jack Evans

Evans, who turns 23 today, did a scholarship at Blackburn Rovers before spending two years there as a pro.

However, his time at Ewood Park was hampered by a total of a year-and-a-half out injured.

"I was playing consistently for the reserves but I had a stress fracture, then came back to fitness and got another knock and then did that again, and then got let go during Covid," he recalled.

"So my first two years as a pro were quite frustrating.

"You can sit and contemplate on those times in your career where things didn't go the way you'd necessarily have liked them to.

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"You look around and see other lads doing well, and I was made up for them, so there's naturally going to be a bit of frustration.

"But equally, I just tried to make the most of the situation I was in, got myself back up, focused on my strength work in the gym and building my fitness work up, and other aspects away from football to try and help my mental well-being.

"Spending that long out is really frustrating, it was tough.

"Of course you could sit there and think what could have been, but equally you can't think like that because you've got to deal with what comes your way, which is what I did and that's the attitude I have towards whatever situation I get put in.

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"You don't focus on what could have beens and stuff that's out of your control, you need to focus on what's within your power and do that to the best of your ability."

After leaving Blackburn, Evans joined Forest Green Rovers, but was restricted to just nine first-team appearances over two seasons.

"It was tough initially, stepping into the men's game, but I learned a lot during my time there," he said.

"That first season was tough, I was still getting back up to speed really with my fitness.

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"Being out for such a long time and then going into men's football, it took some adapting.

"I had a loan at Gloucester in the Conference North before it got null and voided and I enjoyed my football again there, so that was really worthwhile for me.

"Under Rob Edwards in my second season, I was on the bench all the time, the lads were flying so it was tough for me to get going."

Evans had no such problems at Hereford, where he became a fans' favourite in his season at the club.

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"Josh and Yan, the managers there, gave me my opportunity and stood by me, which I was really grateful for," he said.

"I enjoyed my football again there. You can only enjoy it so much when you're not playing.

"I was playing consistently, every minute I was fit I played.

"I got on really well with that group of lads. I went there to get game-time and get confidence in myself again, and just embrace playing every week, which I loved."

Evans will be hoping that's the case again at Halifax.

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"When I decided about going to Hereford, I had opportunities to potentially be a bit higher but that wasn't necessarily to play every week," he said.

"So I went there with the mindset of getting consistent game-time, enjoy my football, get that confidence in myself and then potentially kicking on.

"The aim was always for me to jump back up and get into the Conference and try to push on.

"I want to be a full-time footballer and play as high as I can."

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Evans played midfield as a scholar at Blackburn and at wing-back in the reserves there.

He played in both positions at Forest Green and at left-back for Hereford.

"The main focus for me is just getting game-time," he said, "so it's not necessarily where I am, it's just hoping I am somewhere and I am playing.

"Wherever I'm needed I'm quite happy playing."

After injuries at Blackburn and limited appearances at Forest Green, Evans is keen to build on his success at Hereford.

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But those experiences aren't the primary motivation. For Evans, the drive is there anyway.

"I'm a very ambitious person and very motivated within myself so I don't think those experiences have made me more motivated," he said.

"But you definitely take from different experiences you go through and learn from them.

"It adds up and it helps you become a better player and a better person.

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"Maybe to an extent it gives you that hunger again, going into part-time thinking that a lot of lads work as well in part-time and I did, I did some coaching this past year (Evans is a UEFA B qualified coach).

"Being back in full-time this year, training every day, it's made me realise this is what I want to be doing even more.

"But equally, my goals have never altered in terms of what I want to achieve.

"As you grow older, you use those experiences that aren't in your control to affect what you can."