Chris Todd: Eastleigh manager has alternative career options

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Chris Todd: Meet Eastleigh's multi-talented manager

It's not unusual for non-league football team managers to have second jobs, but Chris Todd is a man who could easily switch careers if things fail to work out in the dugout.

Former Swansea, Torquay and Exeter defender Todd takes his National League Eastleigh side to Stourbridge on Saturday knowing a win will see them reach the FA Cup third round for the first time.

But, as well as being the manager of a semi-professional football club, Todd is more than a dab hand at a few other careers.

The 34-year-old knows the skills of either singer, actor or author could be a potential alternative to football management.

Todd has had a go at them all, sometimes simultaneously.

But, foremost in his mind is Saturday's trip to Northern Premier League side Stourbridge.

"It will be massive if we make the third round," he told BBC South Today.

"For the club as a whole, the people who have put in a lot of effort on and off the field, we can make history."

The man on-screen and in the dugout

Football has not always been the number one priority for the father-of-three. In 2008, while still playing for Torquay, Todd was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The moment triggered a change in his attitude to life and new opportunities.

"It changed my outlook at trying different things and trying to express myself a bit more," he said.

"At one point, I didn't know if I was going to be alive the next day."

Chris Todd (right) in an appearance on This Morning for The Big C choir with Russell Watson (left) and Chrissie Smith
Chris Todd (right) appeared on This Morning in 2012 alongside Russell Watson (left) as he promoted The Big C Choir

Todd threw his energy into writing a book about his recovery, as well as trying out acting and singing.

Commercials, a music video and a role as a soldier in an independent World War Two-themed film called 'Meet Again' can be found on his acting portfolio.

"I got into acting as well when I was ill," said Todd.

"I've always loved the camera and I've always liked the media, so I thought I'd have a go.

"Someone then asked me if I wanted to be in a film. It was only a short film.

"I ended up being an action man, but the rest is history. It's another feather in the bow."

He also turned his hand to fundraising through his involvement in The Big C Choir, which at one point led to a television appearance alongside operatic tenor Russell Watson.

"You have to get out of the bubble," he added. "A lot of people get stuck doing the same things day-in, day-out and they go through life like that.

"That's fine, but I believe there's more to life than that. I've done some unbelievable things in that time."

Eyeing promotion to the big leagues

Having only been appointed Eastleigh boss in October, Todd has already guided the Spitfires to fifth in the National League.

Eastleigh have already caused a significant cup upset this season, beating League One Crewe 1-0 in the first round.

Todd's squad, which can boast substantial Football League playing experience, has designs on promotion to League Two.

But, he is under no illusions about the task against Stourbridge, a tie which sees his side as favourites against a club two divisions below them.

"The lads won't be going into it thinking it's an easy touch," he said. "We'll be giving everything this Saturday."

Chris Todd book
Chris Todd wrote a book about his recovery from Leukaemia

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