TOP BOSS: Ian Evatt’s Barrow overcame the odds to land the Natiional League title
By Matt Badcock
Ian Evatt thanked his Barrow management team for their hard work that puts his name as boss of the National League champions in lights – but says he isn’t silly enough to think he’s cracked the job just yet!
Evatt, 38, saw his Bluebirds promoted to the EFL in midweek and has now been crowned as FotMob Manager of the Year in The NLP’s National Game Awards.
It’s been a fine season for Evatt and his charges as his swashbuckling side recovered from a tricky start to finish top of the tree and end their 48-year wait for a famous Football League return.
Perhaps it’s easy to forget Evatt – who won two promotions with Blackpool and one with Chesterfield as a player – has just completed his second season in the dug-out.
But he’s now following in the footsteps of previous NGA winners like Danny Cowley, John Askey and the late Justin Edinburgh.
“To be in that type of company is great,” Evatt said. “I’m new to all this, I’m not naive enough to think I’ve cracked it. I’ve still got a lot to learn, I’m still a rookie but it’s been a great start.
“It’s has been a huge team effort. I’m lucky enough to be the leader of the pack, so to speak, but we are very much a team of staff.
“My assistant Peter Atherton and the rest of the backroom staff have really supported me and helped me to provide the platform for the team to go out there and express themselves.”
While Barrow were made to wait for confirmation of their title on unweighted points-per-game, the hard work the club put in has now been rewarded. And Evatt says that universal commitment has been the cornerstone of their success.
“I live for football,” Evatt said. “For me it is 24 hours a day, seven days a week – you get out of it what you put in. I like to think we are meticulous with our planning and we have brought a whole new professionalism to the National League and Barrow in terms of our data analysis.
“I think if you ask people at the club who’ve worked under different management and then seen what we do, it’s completely new and a different level. That’s stood us in good stead.
“But for that to happen, for us to be use that and get the benefits, takes time, it takes effort and it takes people sacrificing. It’s not just about me and my sacrifice, the whole backroom team have sacrificed for the greater good and it’s shown what you can achieve with a lot of hard work.”
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper from this weekend!
In print and online 24/7 as a full digital replica since midnight on Saturday, The NLP’s news pages are the only place to stay informed and entertained while getting the big picture from across Non-League in one place.
Get ahead of the game with our free weekly newsletter and never take a chance on missing your paper on a Sunday or Monday again!
Subscribe today to have the printed edition delivered to your doorstep or enjoy the full digital edition from the comfort of your own home or wherever you are when it pops up on your mobile or device!
The only national paper devoted to Non-League football, as a digital edition The NLP is available whenever and wherever you want it.
Try a free sample of a recent edition today if you’re staying home or on the run. You’ll save cash as a one off or regular digital reader and the pages still rustle like the printed paper too!
Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper