The Graduates: No.25 Ched Evans
- 25 October 2011 09:36
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Chedwyn Michael Evans may have learned his trade at the MCFC Academy, but he made his name in the distinctive canary yellow of Norwich City.
He had little experience when he arrived at Carrow Road on loan in 2007 but made a major impact with 10 goals in 28 League appearances before returning to the Blues.
The young Evans had spent several prolific years at Chester before their youth set-up folded and he joined City in 2002.
By 2006/07, he had scored 16 goals in 23 starts at Academy level, and a further six in 10 starts in the Premier Reserve League.
He came off the bench in September 2007 to make his senior debut in City’s 1–0 Carling Cup victory over ... Norwich City.
Two months later Evans moved to Norfolk to start what would prove to be a pivotal loan spell
He made his Canaries debut as a substitute in the 3–1 victory over Blackpool, and his maiden goal came just two minutes into his first start, against Plymouth on 4 December.
Evans returned to City when the loan expired on 1 January, but Norwich boss Glenn Roeder managed to get the deal extended, first until late February and then until the end of the campaign.
Assured by City boss Sven-Göran Eriksson he was not for sale, Evans grabbed 10 goals from 20 starts and eight substitute appearances, an impressive feat for a struggling Norwich side.
He made his League debut for City on 18 August against Aston Villa when Valeri Bojinov was injured during the warm-up. His first League goal came against Portsmouth on 21 September, the fifth in City's 6–0 win.
But the arrival of Craig Bellamy, and later Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez, left Evans well down the pecking order and he joined Sheffield United for are reported fee of £3m in July 2009.
Having scored twice for Wales Under-21s in the midweek, Evans scored his first Blades goal on his home debut, a 2–0 win over Watford, but he struggled for form and was often on the bench.
That first season brought 36 games but only four goals. The following year he was first choice, finishing as top scorer with nine goals in all competitions, but was unable to prevent relegation.
His international career, however, has been more productive. He scored a hat-trick for Wales against France Under-21s in November 2007, helping him towards an Under-21 tally of 13 goals in 12 matches.
On his senior Welsh debut on 28 May 2008, Evans back-heeled the winning goal in a 1–0 victory over Iceland, leading to his involvement in the Wales set-up on a regular basis.
His career to date, while not stealing headlines in the top-flight, is proving fruitful and Evans continues to earn a good living from the game.