WILL Evans is not afraid of hard graft in the bid to prove his pedigree at Newport County AFC after swapping the farm for the Football League.

The 25-year-old made his League Two debut for the Exiles in the 1-1 draw at Sutton United on Saturday, playing the full game as left wing-back.

Evans signed for County this summer after catching the eye as a striker in the Cymru Premier with Bala.

He had previously played for Cardiff Met while studying in the capital, yet it is the family farm in mid-Wales where the work ethic evident on the football field was developed.

The Evanses have a herd of 800 milking cows, 2,000 cattle overall plus poultry; parlour life has been put on hold while chasing the dream at County but the Football League newcomer is still more Massey Ferguson than Mercedes.

South Wales Argus: MIXING IT: Will Evans put himself about on his County debutMIXING IT: Will Evans put himself about on his County debut

“I’m a dairy farmer by trade,” he said. “You are normally up at 4.30am, milking until 10am, then you have other work to do and you’re back in at 1pm, then the evenings at 9pm. You don’t normally do all three in a row but I know how to graft, let’s put it that way!

“It’s been a good thing and has made me humble, my mum and dad have always said that if you work hard then it will get you far.

“I’ve had a bit of a break this year and I don’t want this chance to go past me, I want to make it count.”

Evans has earned a shot as an EFL pro after signing on a two-year deal in time to play a full part in pre-season alongside seasoned campaigners such as Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Robbie Willmott and Aaron Wildig.

“I was training once a week with Bala,” he said. “I've come into full-time football and it's taken its toll on me physically and mentally and you've got to be on it each day.

“It's like going back to school really, making new mates, fitting in with new people and then you get used to it.

“The gaffer and all the staff have been welcoming, players have been as good as gold with me and obviously it's a step up. I'm loving every minute of it and hope it continues.

“It’s starting to sink in a little bit that I am a professional footballer and I am loving it every minute. Standards are high from the gaffer and his staff, while the players expect it from each other.”

The early signs are promising with Evans forcing his way into the starting line-up for the opener at Gander Green Lane.

“I definitely saw the step up from the Welsh leagues but I knew it was going to be a big jump,” said the new boy, who will hope to keep his spot for a Rodney Parade debut against Walsall on Saturday.

"I'm over the moon to finally start in the Football League, something that nobody can take away from me now.

“I had a lot of lovely messages after checking my phone quickly after the game and that was very humbling.

“If we'd have nicked the three points it would have been the icing on the cake but I was over the moon personally and as a team I think it was a good point.”

Evans was signed primarily as a striker but was given the nod down the left in Sutton, with his physicality earning selection ahead of Aaron Lewis and Liverpool loanee Adam Lewis.

The Wales C international’s versatility should ensure he racks up the appearances in 2022/23.

“When I was at Bala I was more of a left winger so it was a role that kind of suited me going forward but I've just got to adapt it to improve my defensive work,” he said.

"Over the years I've played in various positions but obviously it's a different role for me. I'm quite fit, I can get up and down, so really going forward it suits me down to the ground.

“I’ve got to work on a few things defensively – a lad nutmegged me at Sutton so the next one he went up in the air! – but it’s a position I’m enjoying.

“I’ve played in various positions in midfield, out on the wing and up top, while I played left-back in my youth days at Shrewsbury Town. It’s something I know but this is a little bit more demanding because you are up and down.

“I came in as a striker and there might be times this season where I play as a striker, but I am just happy to be playing minutes and contributing towards the team.”