IMG 20220924 WA0000 | Dartford Living

Saturday’s game against Hampton & Richmond Borough saw striker Davide Rodari feature in our matchday programme. For those who missed it, here is the full article:

Swiss-Italian forward, Davide Rodari, arrived at Dartford in July on a six-month loan deal from EFL League Two side Crawley Town. And, he’s already established himself into Alan Dowson’s Dartford squad, having made six appearances and netting two league goals to date.

Davide enjoyed his off-season and, despite its shorter length this year, still managed to squeeze in three different holidays inside a month! Besides that, Davide spent his free time in the gym, which is something that he loves doing outside of football, together with reading “when I’m in the mood” and building his social media platforms. He confesses that he’s quite into TikTok and is currently building his portfolio with brands, etc… He also enjoys relaxing while watching Netflix and playing his PlayStation, especially FIFA or Call of Duty. On his days off, Davide likes going for walks and meeting his friends for coffee.

However, Davide also owns a company with three other footballers. Founded in 2018 by him, Adam Lovatt, and Jamie Fielding, the company is called PlayersLounge Elite Performance. “We basically train athletes like us that want to go from part-time to full-time football.”

The company is still very young, so a lot of dedication is required by the three gentlemen in order for it to be successful. Davide says that, “A typical day will see me come home and work on PlayersLounge, as well as do some programmes for athletes.”

On a game day, Davide tends to stick with one or two coffees in the morning. He then ensures that his room is tidy before doing some mobility exercises before the match. Strangely, Davide doesn’t relax and watch football on the television… “I can play football all day long, every day… but I hate watching it! Unless it’s the Champions League Final or the World Cup, I can’t watch it!”

So, how did this humble Swiss-Italian get into football if he can’t watch it? “Well, I believe it all started when I was young. Me and my brother used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s games together. Then he (my brother) started training me every week until I was sixteen. Then I moved to England. I never had any doubts about being in the sport, as I’ve always been near professional environments and coaches. I have always fought and worked as hard as I could, even through injuries, to make this happen.”

And, Davide’s dream of making it couldn’t have begun in a better place. Or, should I say more daunting place? You see, his journey began at one of the most prestigious clubs in European Football… the Nerazzurri (the Black and Blues) Internazionale Milano, or Inter Milan for those who aren’t aware of Italian football.

He was there for a short period before moving to Novara FC. That was followed by a move to Pro Vercelli, before Davide moved to Switzerland and Team Ticino. He then made his way to England and spent six months with Eastbourne Borough’s U18 squad before moving to Hastings United. He then signed for Crawley Town, where he currently remains on their books.

Inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo and Jamie Vardy, “…his story is very inspirational, while what Ronaldo does off the pitch allows him to be the best player on it” Davide’s dream is and always has been to play in the Premier League. He continues, “I set myself a target for about five years’ time and I always look at Vardy. Afterall, if he’s achieved it, why can’t I?”

Well, aside from International level, there is no higher level to achieve than reaching the summit of English football. Meanwhile, though, Davide is currently plying his trade at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Why did he choose to come here on loan? “Dartford has always been a big club at this level and in the National League, where I believe they belong. I remember most of the players from last year, when I played against them. I was at Dorking and it was a really tough game where we (Dorking) lost 3-2. I also like the way we approach games and play, as football doesn’t always have to be pretty, and the way we play is very physical, which I love! Plus, as a group we have a strong togetherness.”

He continues, “This season’s goal is definitely promotion as a team, and for me personally, to have a consistent run of games. In the past I always picked up injuries on the way, which disrupted my progress. I want to score as many goals as I can, as long as we keep winning, which is the main thing.”

“I’m hoping to do well here (at Dartford), get promoted, and return to Crawley or get a move to a club higher up the pyramid. Or, I’d like to stay at Dartford indefinitely and we’ll be (hopefully) playing in the National League next season!”

In the meantime, Davide will continue waking up each morning to enjoy his breakfast of eggs and avocado on toast, together with a proper coffee. His day then sees him head to the gym to do some exercises, “…which will consist of a light session or a recovery one, depending on my schedule, before I head to the sauna or pool to relax.”

As our conversation reaches its conclusion, Dartford’s number eleven has one final message: “Let’s make this year one to remember for the club! I can’t wait to see the stadium packed every weekend!”

By Chris Palmer