FC Halifax Town: Loanee Rodney delighted to be back for second Shay stint
National League defences, you have been warned: Devante Rodney is back at The Shay and wants goals.
The striker became a fans’ favourite by scoring seven goals in 12 appearances on loan last season, and started his second loan spell on Saturday against Maidenhead.
“In October, when Salford said I could go out on loan, I rang up my agent and said ‘can you get me back to Halifax?’ but the deal couldn’t be sorted,” said Rodney, who has already been on loan at Stockport this campaign, where he mainly played as a right-wnger.
“That was disappointing but I’m delighted to be back now.
“I feel happy here and I feel that brings out my best performances.
“The fans are perfect, and so are the lads, I get on with them all.
“I’m just coming here and thinking of goals, that’s my main aim.
“At Stockport I was more thinking ‘just put in good performances’, the manager wanted me taking touches down the line and getting crosses in.
“To be honest, that isn’t really my game, I just want to score goals.
“Coming here, Pete (Wild) is playing me down the middle, so I’m happy.
“He’s a top manager, he’s put his arm round me the first couple of days, made me feel welcome, so hopefully I can repay him by scoring goals.”
And Rodney is definitely claiming his goal on Saturday, with his shot taking a deflection off Maidenhead defender Seth Twumasi. “I couldn’t really sleep on Friday because I’d not scored on my debut at any club, so I was just thinking ‘please let me get one’,” Rodney said. “I don’t really score many scruffy goals like that but I’m buzzing about it.”And the reception was absolutely quality. That’s another reason why I’ve come back.”
On his potential partnership with fellow forward Jack Redshaw, Rodney said: “I was with him at Salford. He was struggling with injuries but I always kept up with how his rehab was going.
“I think we’ve got a good relationship so hopefully you’ll be able to see that on the pitch and we can push for those play-off positions. “I think all the new lads are quality, some great signings, and I think we’ve got a great chance.”
Rodney is one of only nine players in the squad who were at the club last season.
“It’s different. I know probably half the squad, but the rest is new. It’s just about gelling in, showing the new players what I’m about and hopefully I can do well,” he said. “I had my first training session last Tuesday and it was really competitive, everyone putting in tackles.
“It’s a good environment for me to improve. “It’s not nice being told you can go out on loan, but I feel welcomed here, I feel positive, so hopefully that shows on the pitch.”
Rodney feels he returns to The Shay in better physical shape having got some game-time at Stockport.
“I would say I’m fitter,” he added. “Last season, I don’t think I had any starts under my belt the whole season. “I’d been in and out, maybe coming on for 10 or 15 minutes in a game, maximum.
“But this time round I’ve had nine starts, 15 appearances in all, so I think you’re getting a fitter me.”