Bristol Rovers talisman Anthony Evans has explained why he chose to remain with the club and sign a three-year deal.
The 23-year-old was a pivotal figure in the club’s promotion last year with a brace and a match-winning assist in the 7-0 win over Scunthorpe United on the final day.
In total, he made 38 appearances last year with 13 assists and 11 goals across all competitions and won the club’s Goal of the Season award.
Despite interest from their League One rivals, Evans has chosen to stay at the Memorial Stadium until 2025, which is the longest contract of any Gas player.
There had been a period where he had discussed with his family about his next career move but said the achievements of last year and how he was
“It’s great. It took a little bit of time to think of my family and what would be the next step for me,” he said in an interview on a video published on the club’s official YouTube channel.
“It wasn’t too much of a tough decision. It was a head and heart decision, my heart was always saying to come back to Bristol Rovers and I’m glad I have done it.
“The year I had, the reception I had from the fans, and the relationship with the gaffer and the lads. It was special what we did last season and we wanna see what we can do this year together.”
As to what next season will bring, manager Joey Barton said that Evans signing a new deal would be important to the club having a strong window.
Since the contract renewal, the club have made three signings, bringing in Jordan Rossiter from Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee, as well as signing James Gibbons from Darrell Clarke’s Port Vale.
Evans was also reunited with James Connolly, who was signed on a permanent deal on the back of a successful loan spell from Cardiff City.
The 2022/23 campaign will be the third time he has tasted League One football having had loans with both Blackpool and Crewe Alexandra.
He registered two assists in 26 matches in those combined loan spells but has opted for a second campaign to keep his personal targets close to his chest.
He said: “I’m not really bothered, I just want more of the same from us, to be honest. We want to kick on from where we left off last year and see what we can do together as a team.
“It’s great. I’ve seen some of the new lads in today and hopefully, we’ll see a bit more of them in pre-season, get some games done and bond as a team.”
Rovers begin their pre-season this coming Friday (July 1) when they make the short trip to face Melksham Town before a warm weather training camp out in Portugal.
Their League One season will kick off on Saturday, July 30, when they welcome fellow newly promoted side Forest Green Rovers to the Memorial Stadium.