PICTURE by CPD Gwalchmai FC
WHEN it comes to discussing individuals who have enjoyed successful footballing careers on Anglesey in the 21st century, Craig Evans has to be up there as one of the most decorated of them all by now.
Over the years, the attacker has enjoyed many a great moment and has won plenty of honours turning out for Llangefni Town, Bodedern Athletic, Glantraeth and, of course, Gwalchmai, where he has been player-manager for a number of seasons now and was previously a player for in a separate spell too.
Arguably, Evans’ finest season came back in 2009/10, when he won a Gwynedd League treble (league title, Gwynedd Premier Cup and Cwpan Gwynedd) with Gwalchmai. He was vital in that season too – scoring a very important goal in a 1-1 draw with Bodedern which secured Gwalch, then managed by Rob Hughes and Paul Owen, the league title.
Talking about the managers who have had the most influence on his playing career, Evans said: “One of them is Mr Paul Owen – he was the one that signed me for Gwalchmai and also Rob Hughes who passed away at Christmas. It was a great few seasons we had when Those two were in charge of Gwalchmai.
“I also have to mention Chris (Roberts) Bach who is now manager at Llangefni who I played for at Glantraeth and Llangefni.”
After his first spell with Gwalchmai, Evans moved on to Glantraeth in 2010/11 – where he became club captain and showed tremendous leadership qualities which would later come in useful when he became a manager.
During that season with Glantraeth, he scored 32 goals as the club picked up a remarkable four trophies in just two weeks come the end of the season – winning the Cwpan Gwynedd, Gwynedd Shield, Bob Owen Memorial Shield and NWCFA Intermediate Cup. They also finished runners-up to Bro Goronwy in the league, but did earn promotion to the Welsh Alliance after the champions were unable to go up.
Evans would then go on to return to where it all began with hometown club Llangefni Town, who he had previously won several trophies with in their Anglesey League days. The 2014/15 campaign was another one to remember for Evans as he was chosen as Llangefni’s Supporters’ Player of the Season, and scored 34 goals as Town finished runners-up in Welsh Alliance Two, earning promotion as a result.
The following season, Evans again impressed for Llangefni as he netted 20 goals as the club finished third in Welsh Alliance One.
In 2018, he would return to another one of his former clubs – Gwalchmai, where he now lives.
He started off there as assistant to Martin Jones (below) and, in the first season, the club won the Safeflue Shield. Evans would then become player-manager of the club in November 2018 and led them to eventual promotion to Welsh Alliance Two.
Last season, although the campaign was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a good season overal for Gwalchmai as they finished sixth in a strong Welsh Alliance Two.
One of the stars of that team was the prolific Marc Evans – who scored 20 goals and finished top scorer for the club.
Commenting on him and other great players he’s played alongside during his career , Evans said: “What a finisher Marc is, he’s one of the best I’ve seen. Chris Saxon was one of the best midfielder seen around this island for me.
“Then there’s Gari Owen (now at Llangefni Town) who played with us when he was 16 at Glantraeth he was a superb full back and now he’s one of the best on the island. And then there’s the two youngsters I managed last couple seasons; Sam Jones and Gwion Thomas who have bright futures ahead of them.”
A top, top player and clearly a gifted manager too, Evans has won countless promotions and has filled his trophy cabinet to the brim by now, even more so with the personal accolades – such as top scorer prizes – he’s won over the years.
Talking about his career to date and what the future holds, Evans said: “To be honest, there hasn’t been any low points in my career. I love playing football but hate losing of course.
“I’m missing football like mad, especially seeing the lads and having a couple of beers after the game. I hope we can start again soon so I can get on that pitch. I hope I can win a few things before I retire.”