Former Hastings United star Davide Rodari has message for young players who want to follow him in turning professional
East Sussex Coast College at Hastings is celebrating the success of former Personal Training student, Davide Rodari who signed his first professional football contract with League 2 side, Crawley Town.
Davide, 21, made a huge impression playing for Hastings United, scoring 22 goals in as many games in the 2019 -20 season.
Within 24 hours of signing for Crawley, he was making his professional debut against AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round.
Davide started studying at the college in 2017, after moving to the UK, from Italy to follow his dream of becoming a professional football player. He studied Level 2 Fitness Instructing, alongside gaining qualifications in English and maths. The year after, he studied Level 3 Personal Training, while having a successful season in the college’s football academy.
He said: “My time at the College was really good. I gained some really good qualifications. I had really good teachers. They were all really supportive and knew I had ambitions to play professional football. I’ve always been interested in sport, fitness and nutrition, so I knew if football didn’t work out for me, I would still be able to use my college qualifications to earn a living while playing semi-professional football.
“Studying at the College also allowed me to join the football academy. I was part of the academy while also playing in the Hastings United first team - so I was playing lots of football.
“The academy training was such a high standard. It was run by Chris Agutter, who is now first team manager at Hastings United. Chris is a really good coach; he really pushes you. In my opinion, he is one of the best coaches outside of the football league.
“We were training like professionals, doing exactly what pro players would do. Everything we were doing was helping us to prepare for men’s football both physically and tactically.
The college caught up with Davide to ask how the start of his professional career had been so far. He said: “I signed on Monday and trained with the squad that day. Then on Tuesday night, I made my professional debut against Bournemouth. It was unbelievable.
“Jamie Vardy is a huge inspiration for me. He started in lower league football and is now a Premier League winner.
“My advice to any young people wanting to make it into football, is go to East Sussex College Hastings and join up with the football academy. They have a good team of teachers and coaches, who I have learnt a lot from. Work really hard - in the classroom, in training and on the pitch - and if you make a good impression with Chris, he’ll trust you and bring you into the Hastings first team.”