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INTERVIEW | Jack Evans: "I want to learn off the experienced players and take whatever opportunities I can"

18 January 2021

Newport County AFC midfielder Jack Evans is eager to hit the ground running after joining the Exiles in the January window.

The midfielder has experienced more than most during his short professional career after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer - Hodkin Lymphoma - in 2018.

Getting back on the pitch seemed a distant prospect for Evans when he was was enduring chemotherapy, but he made a remarkable return to action and was handed his professional debut during Swansea City's Carabao Cup tie against Cambridge United just over a year after his diagnosis.

It marked the end of a difficult period for the 22-year-old, who was forced to miss out on the duration of the 2018-19 campaign as he receieved treatment.

Evans departed the Swans - the club he had been at since he was eight - earlier this month, and is now ready to start a new chapter of his career with the Exiles.

"I’m still enjoying it and I just want to make the best of the opportunity I have got," said Evans.

"My family are proud of me for getting through that, but also at that time in my life I realised how lucky I was. Even though I had cancer, it could have been a lot worse.

"People in hospital had a lot worse things than me and were going through it without the support and the love I had.

"I thought at the time that even if my career is done, it could be a lot worse. Luckily enough, I came through that and I’m still able to play football."

The 22-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan with Cypriot First Division outfit Paphos, where he made two league appearances, before being recalled by the Swans earlier in the January window.

He became aware of the Exiles' interest following his return to south Wales and, after taking advice from former County on-loan defenders Brandon Cooper and Aaron Lewis - two players who Evans knew during his time with the Swans - the midfielder didn't hesitate in joining on a permanent deal.

Evans says he is aware of the stern competition that he will face in his bid to nail down a regular spot in the centre of the park, but is relishing the challenge of becoming a regular in Michael Flynn's starting line-up.

"I think when other people are doing well it helps to get you to the next level and pushes you to do better," Evans added.

"You’ve just got to work on yourself and hope that you get games and take those chances when you do.

"For me, it’s just about impressing the manager and impressing everyone here. I want to learn off the experienced players and take whatever opportunities I can and hopefully get the team promoted. I just want to do my best."

Evans was named on the substitutes' bench during County's Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion, but he could make his debut when the Exiles head to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening. 

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