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SWINDON TOWN: First year at club turns Raffa into Mr Maturity
THE past 12 months have helped Raffa De Vita mature at a rapid rate, by the forward’s own admission.
De Vita, a summer signing from Livingston, has been surprised by the amount of gametime handed to him by manager Paolo Di Canio during his first season in the English game.
The 24-year-old made 42 appearances in all for the Robins in 2011/12, and he said that he has had a lot of growing up to do in a short space of time since relocating to Wiltshire.
“Swindon is not a normal League Two club, and with the publicity we got through the gaffer it’s been difficult for us to be in the press every single day,” he told the Advertiser.
“But people have had a new experience and it’s a way to grow up.
“At times you enjoy it because you’re on Sky, you’re on games on TV. But at the same time, whenever you play bad you’re in the paper the whole time and it’s definitely something that you can deal with but it takes time.
“For the moment I’m just happy to be playing so many games. To be fair, at the start I was ambitious but I wasn’t expecting to (play) with all the players that the gaffer was signing.
“Fortunately I got a place in the team on the left and I’ve taken it.”
Swapping the Almond Valley for the M4 corridor provided something of a culture shock for De Vita early in the campaign.
After plying his trade in front of modest attendances at Livingston’s Almondvale stadium, the atmosphere at the County Ground caught the Italian-born frontman off guard.
But now De Vita feels very much a wanted member of Swindon Town, and he can look back fondly on a memorable introduction to life in England.
“It’s a different world. I remember the first game here against Crewe and it was a shock. Ten thousand people in the stadium is just a different world,” he said.
“It looks like a different sport.
“In Scotland it was enjoyable but there wasn’t too much pressure and I’m definitely growing up here, learning something and enjoying a new experience.
“I think there was, in the first few weeks, 14 players coming in and we didn’t know what was going to happen, and every month there was so many players coming in on loan.
“It took time to realise who was going to be part of this season and I was really glad that I was able to stay in and around the team pretty much all season.”