Player Profiles - MICAH EVANS
Whilst Curtis headed north of the border, Micah stayed a little closer to his Manchester home, being an Academy player at Blackburn Rovers. Playing in the Under-18 side Micah and his team mates took Rovers to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals the following season. He made good enough progress to be offered a professional contract in 2011 and at the start of the 2011-12 season Micah got the chance to match his skills against first team players, in Rovers' pre-season Friendly games against non-league sides.
Like many players with top flight clubs his senior debut came when loaned out to a Football League side, in this case Accrington Stanley. Despite the fact that Stanley were struggling towards the bottom of League 2, the interviews with Micah made it clear it was a challenge he relished. As always during his career it was his pace that was a big part of the attraction for Stanley.
His temporary spell started in November 2011 and it was a great debut for the winger. Micah opened the scoring in a 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers, ending a run of three defeats on the trot. The goal came after just 5 minutes. He got some good practice with Stanley as his initial month's loan was eventually extended until the end of the season and playing 24 games in total, managed two more goals.
Further loan spells were to follow, beginning with Chesterfield in September 2013.
Debut game was 1-1 draw with Torquay United as a substitute. Of the four games Micah played for Chesterfield only one would see him in the starting line-up. The original plan was for the player to be with Chesterfield fort he rest of the year, but a change of manager meant this did not happen. Former County man Paul Cook, who was in charge for part of Micah's Accrington spell, took over in October and decided to end the loan arrangement.
This meant a couple of months of Under-21 football but in January Micah was able to go out on loan again. The move came just as the transfer window closed and he was borrowed by last Friday's opponents Macclesfield Town. Micah was effectively a straight swap for outgoing loanee Amari Morgan-Smith and he made his Macc debut in a goalless draw at home to Tamworth, when Micah came off the bench but could not break the deadlock. He was to make just one more appearance for the Silkmen, that came 10 days later when he started their 4-0 defeat against Gateshead, when he was one of the few players to get a positive post match report from his manager. He returned to Rovers a few days later.
None of these moves provided the key to breaking through into Rovers' senior side and soon after he returned it was announced the winger would be released at the end of the season. Initial interest seemed to be from Oldham Athletic, but in the end Micah made the short move to Burnley, initially on trial. It took a fair while before he was awarded a contract - FA Registration records indicating that finally happened in mid October. The contract was a reward for hid displays in their Development Side.
As at Blackburn Micah could not break into the first team. His chances were not helped by the fact the Turf Moor side were on their way to promotion to the Premier League as Championship runners-up. So, he went off again, this time to the now sadly no longer with us, Hereford United, officially on a youth loan.
He was to play for the old Edgar Street side, now home to the newly formed Hereford FC, in six Conference games without scoring. However match reports generally praised his contribution to the side. Incidentally, Hereford suffered a season of struggle eventually being demoted to the Southern League despite finishing in a position of safety. This decision meant County manager Neil Young's previous club Chester escaped the drop. United's difficulties played a significant part in ending Micah's spell after those six games, as a transfer embargo following a winding up order meant the Bulls were not allowed to extend the deal.
So it was against back to the under-21s for Micah and he helped Burnley to the Semi-Final of the Under-21 Premier League cup. His release by Burnley, along with ex-County man Kyle Brownhill amongst others, saw Micah drop to National League level with another Lancashire club, Southport, the next entry on his football CV. It was his manager at Hereford, Martin Foyle, now in charge at Southport, who signed Micah.
He was initially hampered by injuries after joining the club and eventually made his debut on 16th August in 1 0-0 draw at Torquay United. Paul Fairclough's scouts had obviously been keeping an eye on Evans as mid-September saw him named in the contingency squad, effectively the list of players on stand-by for first choice drop-outs, ahead of an England 'C' training camp. . October saw a change of boss at Southport when ex-County midfielder Gary Brabin took over. Micah was out of the side at the time with re-occurrence of his earlier hamstring injury, but he returned during November, in time to help Southport on their run to the third round proper of the FA Cup. Micah made no small contribution, scoring the winning goal in their second round 2-1 victory over Eastleigh. He missed out on the third round tie as Southport lost to an injury time penalty at Derby County.
January saw Brabin leave Southport for a job with Everton, and the following month his third manager of the season loaned Micah, along with teammate Johnny Lynch, to our National League North rivals Worcester City. He had a winning debut for the Mainlanders as they beat Colwyn Bay 2-0 on 14th February 2015. Micah had a decent spell at Worcester scoring twice in 7 games, just three of which he started. He finished off with a goal after coming off the bench as City won 4-1 at Solihull Moors. It was whilst with Worcester that Micah faced the Hatters for the only time. He was in the starting line-up when we visited City's out-of-town home back in February. Micah and his team mates inflicted a 2-0 defeat on his future employers that day, with Micah described as a menace to County's backline.
After returning from Worcester, Micah was back in the Southport side. His last game at the Merseyrail Community Stadium (better known to many of us as Haig Avenue) saw Grimsby Town hold Southport to a 2-2 draw. This appearance left Micah with 18 National League and FA Cup appearances, half as a substitute.
With a fair number of appearances at clubs in higher tiers of football it will be interesting to see Micah's contribution. If the 22-year-old Manchester born player continues his scoring rate from his spell at this level last season we should be looking at him contributing double figures in the goals chart.