PICTURE by Marc McMullan Photography
PROLIFIC goal-getter Marc Evans says he’s looking forward to a return to where it all began for him with Bodedern Athletic when football resumes on Anglesey.
The forward, affectionately known as ‘Logs’, has had an interesting career. He has won three separate tier two titles (with Rhyl, Llangefni Town and Llandudno) and broke footballing records in New Zealand.
Evans, who turns 31 years old tomorrow, is widely-regarded as one of the best finishers around in the area. Wherever he has gone the goals have followed.
He began his career by notching up 27 goals for Bodedern Reserves as a 16-year-old back in 2006/07. In the same season, he was promoted to Boded’s first team, who were in the Cymru Alliance (tier two) at the time and added a further 14 goals to his tally.
He then scored a further seven goals for Bodedern in the 2007/08 season before moving onto Holyhead Hotspur in the same season, scoring another 12 before the end of the campaign.
Evans (above) bagged 30 goals for Hotspur in 2008/09 despite being just 18 years old. That, inevitably, caught the eye of top flight clubs in Wales and Porthmadog moved into sign him up. Despite the goalscoring rate slowing down in the Welsh Premier League, he still managed four goals at that level at such a young age.
Evans then moved on to Llangefni Town who won the Cymru Alliance under Lee Dixon whilst he was there. A move to home village club Gwalchmai came about in 2010/11 before he returned to Llangefni once more.
Later on, he switched to Glantraeth and once again became the main man there. Evans netted 39 goals in all competitions as the club won a Welsh Alliance Two League and Cup double in 2011/12.
The following season, Evans signed for Rhyl and scored 17 goals as the club went unbeaten to win the Cymru Alliance.
A brief spell with Gwalchmai was followed by a move to Llandudno in 2014/15, where he again won the Cymru Alliance having scored another 31 goals along the way to that title.
Talking about his career on the island to date, and the best players and coaches he witnessed along the way, Evans said: “My father got me into footbalI from a very young age, he started a local junior team within the village so I could play and it just carried on from there. Growing up the players I looked up to was the likes of Eric Cantona, had to because of my father who was a Man Utd fanatic, but as I got older the type of players I liked to watch were Thierry Henry and Michael Owen. Two fantastic finishers.
“I’ve played with many very good players over the years. I could mention so many. Darren Thomas ‘ Cofi Messi’ is up there, could do anything on his day and is unplayable at times. ‘KC’ Owen and Mike Eddy at Hotspur were a centre forwards dream when I was first there, got passed the full backs and delivered balls into the box just for strikers to tap them in – they made my game easy. Dion Donohue was another class act. He made the game look so simple, had eyes in the back of his head and his passing range was incredible.
“In terms of coaches, there are a few that I’ve learnt from over the years. Ricky Williams was very good for me as I first got in men’s football. Campbell Harrison was great at Holyhead. I enjoyed playing under Alan Morgan who got the best out of me.”
In 2015, he took up the opportunity to move to New Zealand where he played for Hamilton Wanderes, WaiBOP United and Melville United. Whilst with the latter, he enjoyed an incredible spell, breaking the club record for most goals in a season (36) when he netted 39 goals and won the Player of the Season award.
All in all, he scored a crazy 92 goals in 88 appearances for Melville – the best of which, he says, was a “30-yard free-kick in the New Zealand Cup quarter final, which flew into the top corner.”
Talking about what helped him onto six fine form over there, Evans added: “My coach Sam Wilkinson was fantastic with me at Melville. His training sessions and one to one individual sessions within training was brilliant and that got me scoring a lot of goals over there. He is a great coach.”
In 2018, he returned to the Anglesey football scene with a brief spell at Holyhead Hotspur. In 2019/20, he netted 19 goals for Gwalchmai in Welsh Alliance Division Two before the Coronavirus pandemic brought the season to an abrupt end.
Having signed for Bangor City briefly last year, Evans is now back with Bodedern Athletic – who will play in the newly-formed North Wales Coast West Premier Division (tier four) when football returns.
Looking forward to the 21/22 campaign with the club, Evans said: “I have always been in touch with Ricky (Williams, Boded manager) and this time it felt right to go back to Bodedern Athletic. I hope that we can all give it a good go this season and try to win the league. There are a great bunch of lads there on and off the pitch so I’m looking forward to it.
“I was having a good season at Gwalchmai (pre-pandemic) to be fair and the highlight would’ve been going to Kinmel Bay away who hadn’t lost at home that season and we beat them 5-2 and I scored all five goals.
“I enjoy the banter with the lads and the Saturday game day is something I really do miss. Saturdays aren’t the same without football.”