Club News

Evans hails McAuley as he closes in on milestone

McAuley set to hit Albion landmark against the Canaries

JONNY Evans insists club and country team-mate Gareth McAuley is rolling back the years as he closes in on an Albion record this weekend.

Should he be selected against Norwich City on Saturday (3pm ko), McAuley will overtake Bob Taylor in becoming the oldest outfield player to represent the Baggies in the Barclays Premier League era.

But Evans believes his fellow Northern Ireland international defender, who will be 36 years and 105 days, is winding back the clock as he continues to put in consistently supreme performances at the heart of the club's backline.

"Gareth is a fantastic professional and has come through the Irish League back home and had to work hard for his chance to come to England," said Evans.

"I think you can see it every day on the training ground in the way he goes about his business. 

"He is very professional, does everything possible to make sure he is performing to his best. I think he sets an example in that way.

"He is not taking it for granted. We see that from him every day. He is a machine really and a great athlete. 

"If you didn’t know his age you would never guess how old he is."

Pouring praise on his compatriot, Evans added: "He is professional, he does his stretching and his diet is always very good. 

"It almost seems like he is getting fitter and getting better."

Taylor was 36 years and 97 days when he made his final appearance for Albion against Newcastle in May 2003.

Dean Kiely still holds the club's Premier League record for both outfield players and goalkeepers having played against Blackburn in May 2009 aged 38 years and 226 days.