ÖRNSKOLDSVIK, Sweden — Former Hendrix College men’s soccer standout Ian Evans has continued his playing career, signing with Friska Viljor Fotball Club in Sweden.
Evans, from Simsbury, Conn., has helped FVFC to a 7-0 start and a tie for first place in the Division III Mellersta Norrland, the fifth tier of Swedish football. He has scored two goals as the starting central defender.
"The experience has been absolutely fantastic," said Evans "After getting over the initial nerves and jet lag, I settled in with the team pretty quickly. I haven’t met anyone here who I haven’t liked, especially among the guys on the squad, and that has just made the transition that much easier.
"Playing for FV is the realization of a lifelong dream, and I am hopeful of getting the club promoted and riding the dream as far as it will take me. We have a well-balanced team of very talented young players, some veterans, and a few foreigners such as myself and players from Kenya and Sierra Leone who have been called up to their national teams. So I think we have a really strong shot at promotion this season."
The first-place team at the end of the season is promoted into Division II and the second place team will play in a promotion playoff with a two-game home-and-away series. The winner will be promoted to Division II and the loser will stat in Division III. I think we have a strong chance of automatic promotion this season. Friska Viljor will play a 22-match schedule, going into August.
"He is really talented, " head coach Lars-Gunnar Eriksson said of Evans in a local paper. "He plays simple and distinct in all situations and it creates a security in the team."
Evans, a 2012 graduate of Hendrix, spent the last two seasons as the men’s and women’s assistant for the Warriors under Doug Mello and his father, Jim Evans. In 2013, Ian Evans helped the Hendrix men to a program-record 10 wins and eight shutouts.
Evans was a three-time All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Third Team selection as a defender for the Warriors. He was a four-year starter, playing in 68 games and scoring four goals with five assists. During his career, Evans contributed to seven shutouts and was named SCAC Defensive Player of the Week as a sophomore.
"I’m glad to represent the Warriors while doing this.," said Evans. "We’ve got Colin Thompson over in Iceland playing at a good level and now I’m here in Sweden. "It is just proof that our program has produced a great deal of talent in recent years. When you look at some of the players we’ve had over the past five years, it could be a lot more than just Colin and I doing it. If our boys work hard and want it, continuing their playing careers is a definite option after college."