The Junior Premier League has been closely following an exciting journey one of our former players has been on over the past few months.
Alejandro Gomes Rodriguez began his association with the JPL as an Eastleigh Tornadoes FC player back in January 2020 after joining from a Division 3 team in the local district league. Whilst starting Year 7 at school in September 2019, he made good friendships with several Tornadoes players and went on to join the club just after Christmas. He made his Junior Premier League debut in January 2020 and would make an incredibly quick impact. After just 5 minutes into his debut away to Hartley Wintney FC, Alejandro scored a perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot, header). This was a sign of things to come.
Alejandro had already caught the attention of several professional clubs, and at the very next match members of the scouting network watched him and offered trial places. Having only recently joined Eastleigh Tornadoes, Alejandro decided to continue enjoying his football in the JPL and local league. Plenty of hard work was needed coming out the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic. Without competitive fixtures for several months Alejandro was determined in getting back to playing. And his hard work was of no surprise to Eastleigh Tornadoes FC’s Neil Cassar, “He’s an exceptional talent, an all-round athlete, a great lad with a supportive family.”
In the summer of 2022, Alejandro and his teammates featured in the JPL STATSports U14 National Cup Final at Macclesfield FC. A thrilling game ended in a defeat for Tornadoes with Halesowen Town Colts lifting the cup. This would prove to be one of the last matches Rodrigues would play in the JPL, with a busy few months ahead including County Cup and District Cup Finals.
At the time of the 2023/24 season, Rodriguez had tallied an incredible 334 goals in just 136 games for Eastleigh Tornadoes (now Eastleigh FC). That record being totalled since joining in 2020, and across matches in the Junior Premier League and local Sunday league.
Other accolades during his time with the club included the District League and Cup double on two occasions, and an invincible season with Alejandro finishing as the top goal scorer.
Numerous offers were presented to Rodrigues during the summer of 2022. He signed for Premier League Club Southampton FC and his continued to go from strength to strength featuring for the U15s, U16s and U18s this season.
Despite missing eight weeks due to a shoulder injury after joining Southampton, Alejandro has scored nearly 50 goals across different age groups for the Saints. He is on course to break records this season and his outstanding performances caught the attention of the National Team selectors.
Rodriguez was called up to an England training camp before the new year and took his chance wonderfully. After scoring 5 goals at St Georges Park he was then selected for internationals in February this year for the England U15s. Across two matches in February Alejandro scored four goals, two against Wolverhampton Wanderers FC U16s and both goals on his international debut – a 2-1 win over Belgium.
Everyone at the Junior Premier League is delighted to see Alejandro going from success to success, we congratulate his club Eastleigh FC (Tornadoes) for providing the opportunities for him to flourish and progress, and we will continue to follow his journey over the coming years.
Does your club have story you would like to share with us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Success Story” in the email subject.
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