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The inside track on Walsall's new keeper Owen Evans

New man Owen Evans has been tipped to shine for Walsall as he is a ‘very good goalkeeper in League Two’.

Owen Evans
Owen Evans

Evans looks set to take on the No.1 shirt for the Saddlers after joining on a two-year contract from Cheltenham Town.

The 25-year-old Welshman was their first-choice for most of last term in League One and previously shone for them in the fourth tier.

His move to Bescot will see him work under compatriot Michael Flynn, and Jon Palmer, who covers Cheltenham for Gloucestershire Live, expects Evans to impress.

“He’s definitely a keeper that’s comfortable with the ball at his feet,” said Palmer.

“He’d sometimes have fans on the edge of their seats, taking risks, but he’s definitely confident. It was something he was told to do.

“Owen did really well while on loan at Cheltenham in League Two, and with the step up to League One and the pressures that came with that, playing against top teams, he found it a little more difficult.

“Cheltenham let in 80 goals last season, and Michael Duff started the year with Evans, then went to Scott Flinders, then Evans, and then back to Flinders for the last couple of games.

“As the pressure built in League One, letting in too many goals, it probably affected his confidence. Not too many of them, though, were actually mistakes.

“Evans didn’t make a succession of howlers. He just probably needs to improve how he commands his area, and his communication probably wasn’t as good as Flinders’.

“If he continues to build his experience, he could have a really good career. I think he’s got a good attitude and will thrive being a No.1 at a League Two club.

"He did that at Cheltenham when he first came in and had a swagger about him. For a League Two team that wants to be challenging, I think he’ll relish being No.1. If he’s playing with confidence, I think he’s a very good goalkeeper in League Two.”

Evans did not fully establish himself at Cheltenham last season as then-boss Duff viewed him and Flinders both as No.1s despite them having different styles.

Palmer feels with Flynn’s backing Evans should quickly find his feet at Walsall.

“I wouldn’t say he came out of last season as someone who failed, but I think he probably lacked confidence and needs to be backed as No.1,” added Palmer.

“I’m sure Flynn knows him well as they’re both from Newport. I can see it working well.”

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