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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 7th December 2017 > Gareth Evans on Lochside Rovers

Gareth Evans on Lochside Rovers

THE POSITION of second team manager is one of the most demanding roles in shinty. The remit is to:

• Prepare the club’s younger players for first team action

• Include enough senior players to inject the necessary experience into the side

• Be able to compete with other second teams and single teams clubs in your division

• Sacrifice your best players when the first team is short

• Keep a sufficiently large pool of players interested so you have cover for all eventualities

• Ensure everyone attends training

And do all this in front of an expectant support who will likely either be unaware or indeed care little for the aforementioned factors which the stressed second team boss has had to contend with during the week.

To pull all this off, and end the season with a league and national cup double, is the stuff dreams are made of but that’s exactly what Lochside Rovers manager Gareth Evans achieved during the 2017 shinty season.

To put the side’s progress in context, when Lochside won Marine Harvest South Division 2 in 2012, their promotion to South 1 led to fourth and fifth place finishes over the next two seasons.

Gareth Evans took charge of Lochside Rovers in 2015. After breaking into the Oban Camanachd first team in 1994, he had just hung up his caman at the end of the previous season.

It was an illustrious on-field career which hit a high in 1996 when Oban Camanachd lifted the Camanachd Cup for the third time, beating Kingussie 3-2 in the final in Inverness.

An attacker, Gareth had missed the semi-final win over Fort William through suspension and was an unused substitute in the final win over Kingussie.

His competition for a starting place in the forward line could hardly have been tougher. Gareth said: ‘The forward line of David MacCuish, Dougie MacIntyre, Fraser Inglis and Gordon MacIntyre was something special. And, let me tell you, if you didn’t pass to these guys when you were in the side, you knew all about it. Dougie MacIntyre, in particular, was a fantastic player. Definitely the best player I have seen in the game.

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