Bristol Rovers have announced the extension of midfielder Antony Evans’ contract until 2025 on their official website.
Evans was a crucial figure in the Gas’ dramatic promotion to League One, which saw them defeat Scunthorpe United 7-0 on the final day to go up on goals scored.
The 23-year-old was one of the Pirates’ outstanding performers last season and recorded an impressive 11 goals and 14 assists in 39 appearances which saw him nominated for the club’s Player of the Season award.
Manager Joey Barton has acted efficiently to secure the services of his fellow Scouser for three more years, whose deal was due to expire in May.
The playmaker’s commitment to a long-term deal shows the former England youth international believes that Barton’s side can match his ambition.
It has been a testing road for Evans as he looked to find a place to develop his career, including loan spells from Everton with Morecambe and Blackpool.
He moved to SC Paderborn in 2020 but was sent on loan to Crewe Alexandra when failing to find a place in the German team’s squad and was subsequently released in August 2021.
The Memorial Ground quickly became home for the former Evertonian as Evans repaid his boss’ faith in the ability he had previously only shown in glimpses.
Calculated risk for the Gas?
Few players below the Championship get offered contracts similar to Evans’, which shows a belief that he can drive the club forward in the third tier.
However, the previous campaign is the only season Rovers’ number 21 has appeared in more than 15 games, and it creates doubts that it could just be one excellent season.
There is no reason why Evans’ cannot continue to perform for the Pirates and either be sold for a sizeable fee or remain a vital part of the side.