Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Antony Evans has declared that signing for the Gas was the best thing that happened to him in terms of his career as he reflected on his time in BS7.

Evans signed for Huddersfield Town last week for a fee in the region of £450,000, ending three years at the Mem in which he achieved promotion out of League Two in his debut campaign and was named Rovers’ Player of the Season last term.

Evans had arrived in north Bristol towards the end of the summer transfer window in 2021, largely as an unknown quantity after emerging through Everton’s academy and with a few unremarkable loan stints at Morecambe, Blackpool and Crewe Alexandra and a period in Germany with Paderborn which was disrupted by Covid-19.

Evans is now, though, an established League One performer, with 190 senior appearances under his belt, and someone who his new manager Michal Duff referred to as “one of the best players in the division”.

“I’ve said it before, it’s the best thing that has happened to me in my career,” Evans told BBC Yorkshire. “I went there and played the most games I’ve ever played in my career, three consecutive seasons and I’ve not got one bad word to say about it. It was great to me and hopefully they enjoyed me there. Who knows what happens in the future but I really loved my time there.

“It was difficult leaving but, at the same time, I wouldn’t say easy… but it was an easier decision, with the club I’m coming to. But leaving the lads behind, leaving all the background staff, it is tough saying goodbye, but that is football at the end of the day.”

As well as being part of an environment where he could produce his best football, the conclusion to the 2021/22 season was obviously foundational in forming Evans’ time at Rovers. The 25-year-old scored a brace and provided the cross for Elliot Anderson for the seventh in the remarkable final day 7-0 triumph over Scunthorpe United, which allowed the Gas to claim automatic promotion at the death having not been part of the top three in League Two all season.

“To this day I can’t really explain it,” Evans added. “We were never in the top three until the last five minutes of the game. It was a once-in-a-lifetime game; hopefully I’ll go to have many promotions in my career, but I genuinely don’t know how you top that. It’s a season that will live with me forever.”

Evans hadn’t played more than 14 games in a season before he signed for Rovers but Huddersfield know they’ve now signed a potential difference-maker in a promotion fight who, by his own admission, matured considerably during his time in blue and white quarters.

“I grew up a lot. Prior to being at Bristol Rovers, I just kind of took football as more of a hobby and then once I got there, I realised quickly that yeah, it’s a job, but you’ve got to be in it 100 per cent,” Evans said. “Being a part of the changing room, that season we did go up, we had really big characters in there who kept it in check and there’s a few of them here.

“So, I grew up massively – got a lot of experience playing consecutive games – and was able to showcase my ability. I’d not really had a run of football matches, until I went to Bristol so it was a massive learning curve for me and became a home away from home; made some great mates there, played the best football of my career at that club so it was a really good experience.”