Evans Kouassi was key in Canvey Island having a very successful 2022/23 season in the Isthmian Premier Division. The Gulls finished in third but were defeated by Aveley in the play-off semi-final. Kouassi scored on 24 occasions, as well as assisting 17, which capped off a brilliant season in Canvey’s return to the seventh tier.
At the age of 34, Kouassi is looking to earn promotion next season after last campaign’s disappointment. I asked the Ivorian forward about his goal-scoring exploits, his time at Park Lane so far and more.
Canvey Island finished in third place in the Isthmian Premier Division but were unable to earn promotion via the play-offs. What were your overriding thoughts on the season?
‘The season went well. I feel like we competed with all of the top teams in league, I think we beat everyone in the top six barring one team. We went on a terrific run of games without a defeat near the end of the season which helped us climb up the table and secure a play-off spot. On the day of the play-off semi-final, Aveley came with a game plan which worked. They were more aggressive than us and nullified us in certain areas which took the game to penalties, which we lost.’
Despite having a magnificent season in the Gulls’ return to the seventh tier, how disappointed were you to be knocked out by Aveley in the play-off semi-final on penalties?
‘It was very disappointing to have came that far to get knocked out on penalties. However, making the play-offs back-to-back was a massive achievement for the boys so all in all, we are proud of what we have achieved.’
You had a magnificent campaign and notched 24 goals and 17 assists. How proud were you of your personal contribution to Canvey’s season?
‘It’s always feels good to contribute with goals and assists to help the team get to where we need to be. It’s just a shame it didn’t go our way in the play-offs.’
You were additionally part of the team that were promoted from the Isthmian North Division last season with the Gulls. How special was the 2021/22 campaign to you?
‘One of the best days (the play-off final victory) and one of the best seasons I have had in my footballing career. The atmosphere was fantastic and to win promotion at home was the icing on the cake. That season was special to me as I contributed to as many goals as my age at the time which was 32 and also 29 assists.’
You have cemented yourself as a fan favourite at Park Lane. How much have you enjoyed your time in Canvey so far?
‘I have loved every minute of my time at the club. We have achieved so much together from reaching the FA Cup second round proper in my first season to getting promoted the next and then of course last season. It’s been amazing. I absolutely love the ultras, they are the best – they show me so much love which drives me on in games.’
What are your plans heading into next season?
‘At this present time, I’m just focusing on resting and enjoying my Saturday with my family. Next season hopefully I can help my team get promoted.’