​Former Norwood and Sturt midfielder Craig Evans signs with Wangaratta

Craig Evans in action for Norwood against East
Fremantle during a Foxtel Cup match.
Craig Evans in action for Norwood against East Fremantle during a Foxtel Cup match.

REIGNING premier Wangaratta has been rewarded for its persistence by signing former Norwood and Sturt midfielder Craig Evans.

It’s been in the works to come to Wangaratta for a couple of years now ...

Craig Evans

Evans played with Magpie star Michael Newton in the SANFL and has been on their recruiting radar for the past two years.

The tough midfielder is working in Melbourne as a civil engineer.

“It’s going to be good,” Evans, 30, said.

“There is a good culture at the club at the moment and I’m keen to be part of a successful side I guess.

“I played with Michael Newton for a couple of years at Norwood and I lived with him in Adelaide as well.

“It’s been in the works to come to Wangaratta for a couple of years now and has finally eventuated which is nice.”

Evans, who played 135 SANFL matches, coached Norwood’s reserves this year and played for Hills Football League club Bridgewater Callington.

Wangaratta coach Dean Stone said the 183-centimetre left-footer would slot nicely into the Magpies’ rotations.

“He will give us that extra depth through the midfield and be a really great teacher and mentor for the talented boys we have coming through,” Stone said.

“He’s a very, very good player who brings strong values and leadership to our footy club.

“I’ve got no doubt he will be a really good acquisition for us.

“It’s exactly what we want with such a young group.”

Stone admitted the Did Simpson Medallist had been an outstanding recruiting tool for Wangaratta since arriving at Norm Minns Oval.

“You lean a little bit on Michael,” Stone said.

“He has so many good connections and mates.

“It’s important that you get the right people in regards to building culture and we knew straight away Craig was that.”