Veteran Ricky relishing another crack at Europe

RICKY Evans is dreaming of extending his European scoring record some 12 years after breaking his duck.

Rewind to June 2003 and Evans was a key figure in Bangor City’s 6-2 aggregate defeat to Romania’s Gloria Bistrita in the Intertoto Cup.

It was playmaker Evans who netted both of the Citizens’ goals, the first a 30-yard free-kick and the second a penalty in injury time.

Now Evans is preparing for a fifth European adventure as Airbus get set to entertain NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in Bangor on Thursday, and goals are top of the agenda.

"Of course I would love to score," Evans told the Leader. 

"I don’t suppose I will get many more chances. If I score, or even start, then great."

On his double for Bangor, Evans continued: "I scored a couple for Bangor, but to be honest we were outclassed.

"We thought we were in the game and they stepped it up and scored four or five goals in about 10 minutes."

Lokomotiva finished fourth in the top flight of Croatian football last season and Evans knows just how tough things will be for the Wingmakers over the next 180 minutes of football.

"It’s a lot faster, a lot quicker and you are obviously playing against a lot better players, who are in higher leagues," said Evans of European games.

"As you can see with teams in the past, there aren’t many who have gone past the first round. But if you keep your shape and do things professionally, you’ve always got a chance.

"With the team we’ve got here, we’ve always got a chance.

"I don’t know a lot about them to be honest with you, but apparently they’ve got a couple of very good players.

The lads were unlucky last year by all accounts. A lot of them say they should have gone through, but one goal is the killer."

At the age of 38, few could have forgiven Evans for staying with Gap Connah’s Quay, for whom he had played over 60 times in three seasons.

But Evans made the decision to head across Flintshire for one last crack at European football.

"It was the main reason," replied Evans when asked how important Europe was in his decision to join Airbus.

"I don’t suppose I will have many chances to play in Europe before I’m finished playing.

"I’m glad I’m here and it’s turned out a good move for me.

"I’ve played a few games, got a few goals. I’d liked to have started a bit more, but wouldn’t we all.

"There is me and the big lad (Chris Budrys) who is a tidy player and I know I’ve got to take my chance when it comes."

Next fixture

Thursday 09 July 2015
NK Lokomotiva v Airbus UK Broughton
Kranjceviceva Stadium, Zagreb | Kick-off: 20:00

Latest result

Thursday 02 July 2015
EUROPA LEAGUE 1st qualifying round 1st leg
Airbus UK Broughton 1 NK Lokomotiva 3
played at Nantporth, Bangor | Att: 548