Evans ecstatic after winning England dodgeball debut in the home nations tournament
A dodgeball player from Newark has made his international debut.
Dan Evans, 22, who currently studies at Nottingham Trent University, started for England in their 11-1 victory over Wales.
Evans, who comes from a sporting background, said his journey to the top of the niche sport stemmed from a sporting rivalry with his brother, and the desire to play sport while at university.
“I was told I had to join a society at university, so I started to play football and dodgeball,” said Evans.
“I was being charged to play football, and at the time, I didn’t want to pay, so I went with dodgeball.”
Evans starred in England’s home nations win over Wales — a tournament that also included Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Matches are split into three groups — mixed, women’s and men’s — and a total of 12 matches are played between the sides.
Evans said he was surprised to be placed straight into the starting line-up in Cardiff, but he was happy with his overall performance, which saw him play a key part in the 26-2 mixed team victory, and the 22-4 men’s team win.
Evans’ career started at university level, and soon after he joined a local club, which gave him a chance to impress scouts during a league fixture at St George’s Park, Staffordshire.
“Quite a few England coaches were watching us, and I was asked to go to an open trial in Manchester,” he said.
“I went to that, and luckily, I was asked to go to the next stage, which was a closed trial.
“After that, they said to me they wanted me to play for England.
“The trials were very intense and it was more than just dodgeball.
“You had athletes, who were a big difference from university standard.
“We had to do bleep tests, fitness tests, strength and condition tests. It was intense training for about six hours.”
Evans hopes to play in the World Cup and European Championships, and said he had a new-found passion for the sport.
He said it was a cool feeling to be able to represent your country, and something he would work hard for.
As well as dodgeball, Evans plays Sunday football for Collingham with his brothers, James, 22, and Matt, 25, and hopes to join Newark Town’s Saturday team, where his twin brother James, also plays.