|view de Vita's match-by-match record|
|Raffaele DE VITA|
Paolo di Canio's third signing as Town boss - his fellow countryman de Vita signing on a two year deal after back-to-back promotions in Scotland with Livingston. De Vita made his debut on the opening day of the season, in a 3-0 win over Crewe. He kept his place in attack for the first four games, without scoring a goal, before being dropped to the bench for a trip to Bristol City in the Carling Cup - coming on at half-time, he opened his Town account with the winning goal.
De Vita was restored to the forward line for the next two league games - but with the arrival of Leon Clarke and Lukas Magera arriving in addition to the numerous strikers already on the Town's books, the lack of goals prompted di Canio to move de Vita into a position on the left side of midfield. It was from this position that de Vita netted his first League goal for the Town, opening the scoring in a 4-0 win over Barnet, before going on to net two more in his next four games - including one of the goals of the season, as he finished off a superb team move for a late winner at Plymouth.
With his move to the flanks coinciding with an upturn in results after a poor start, de Vita was virtually ever-present into the New Year as Swindon moved up the table - until the arrival of first Luke Rooney in the January transfer window, and later Lee Holmes restricted de Vita's game time, with di Canio opting for the two more direct players. De Vita made just one start in February, and another in March, before being reinstated for four games in April, as Swindon moved to the brink of promotion - only to be dropped for the final three games of the season as the League Two title was secured.
Following the arrival of numerous players over the summer - and in particular, wing man Gary Roberts - de Vita was widely expected to start the League One campaign on the bench, but injury to Roberts just before the season started saw de Vita start in his now familiar left-sided position, though boss di Canio still regularly substituted his fellow Italian, doing so in each of the first five games of the season. De Vita opened his account for the season with the last goal in a 3-0 win over Crawley in mid August - ending an eight month personal goal drought in the process - his second of the season coinciding with the Town’s first defeat of the campaign, and also the first occasion that de Vita wasn’t withdrawn, in an eventful 4-1 loss at Preston. De Vita played the full ninety for the following two games as well - but when these games also ended in defeat, di Canio decided to shake things up - with first Andy Williams and then the returning Roberts taking his place on the left flank.
Though much was expected of Roberts, he failed to impress in the most part - and for the remainder of the season, de Vita shared the left-sided responsibilities - both men in and out of the starting eleven. In the first half of the campaign, it was the Italian who was the most prolific - after netting twice more in October, de Vita went through a purple patch around the turn of the year, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win at Oldham, another in a 5-0 win over table-topping Tranmere, and the fourth in a 4-0 win over Carlisle, as the Town firmly announced their promotion ambitions.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Swindon and de Vita. At the end of January, when owner Andrew Black decided to sell the club, Matt Ritchie was sold - and although his departure gave de Vita an extended run in the side throughout February, it was a chain of events that led to the resignation of Town boss di Canio - new boss Kevin MacDonald dropping the Italian to the bench for virtually the whole of the rest of the campaign, de Vita only starting a handful of games as the regular season drew to a close. His last contribution in a Town shirt was as a second half substitute in the Play-Off Semi Final Second Leg at Brentford - and though he helped the Town comeback from 3-1 down to draw 3-3, Swindon lost the penalty shoot-out - and although the Town had a one-year option to keep de Vita at the County Ground, it was not activated, and de Vita left the club - joining Bradford over the close season.
date of birth
left-sided attacking midfield