Jack Evans' remarkable return to U21 squad after cancer recovery
International
6 June 2019

Jack Evans' remarkable return to U21 squad after cancer recovery

Members of the Red Wall may have noticed the return of Jack Evans to the Under 21 setup ahead of their double header against Albania after recently being given the all clear from cancer. FAW.Cymru sat down with the Swansea City midfielder to hear about his incredible road to recovery.

Albania U21 v Wales U21

Sunday 9 June

  • 16:00
  • Selman Stermasi Stadium, Tirana

Tuesday 11 June

  • 14:00
  • Niko Dovana Stadium, Durres

Jack Evans’ life was turned upside down last summer, and the 21-year-old remembers the moment he realized things weren’t right. “I was playing at the time. I just had a bad stomach and told the staff that I'd been sick after the game. I went to hospital a week later, my parents were on holiday at the time so my dad had to come back, my mother couldn't get flights, but when they came back, they told us all what it was.”

Following the diagnosis Evans was sent to Cardiff Met Hospital for chemotherapy and the midfielder was quick to praise those close to him during that time. “At the start, I didn't really tell anyone for the first two or three weeks. Then I started telling my friends, and obviously my family already knew. Both my friends and family were fantastic, and I can’t thank the hospital staff enough. They really looked after me.”

Throughout the treatment process, Evans still had one eye on returning to the football pitch. Having joined Swansea City at seven years old, he was adamant that he’d be returning on the pitch for both his childhood club and the Wales setup where he has played at every level in the intermediate age groups. “As soon as the diagnosis was confirmed I just wanted to know what the treatment was and if I could get back playing. I had a good team around me, and I knew as soon as I was healthy, I'd get back with their help and the support of family and friends.”

Most people would expect Evans’ recovery to involve numerous gym sessions at his club base but a specifically designed fitness plan involved a four week trip to the Caribbean. “The sports scientists at Swansea City have been really good. I did a little bit of gym work and movement exercised then I went to Trinidad & Tobago for four weeks. Dennis Lawrence allowed me to train with their national team on a training camp. It was a great experience that has really helped me reach where I am today. I got to play a lot more football than I have been and it’s prepared me well for the Albania trip.”

Jack Evans 2.JPG

Evans is raring to go for his Wales return as Rob Page’s U21s prepare for the Albania double header and a UEFA EURO U21 qualifying campaign involving Belgium, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Moldova. Several of his Swansea City team-mates (Connor Roberts, Dan James and Joe Rodon) have since stepped up to the Wales senior set up and the midfielder hopes to reach that level one day. “There's always that pride playing for your country, everyone wants to play for the first team don't they. I've just got to keep working hard and see what happens. I’m really excited to be with the Under 21s again and I’m really looking forward to what the next few months have in store for us.”