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Pre season interview with Vermo

With two weeks to go until preseason, the squad returned yesterday for their first training session since the summer.  Paul Metcalfe took the opportunity to ask assistant manager, Jamie Vermiglio about his thoughts ahead of the new season.


He told me that, despite it appearing a quiet summer, the management team has been extremely busy, although, admittedly it hasn’t been as busy as last summer: “We were very organised and knew what we wanted at the end of last season and we offered deals which had the option of us extending the stay of most of our players.”  He adds “Because of this, we are able to retain most of our squad that finished the season.  Only Robbie (McDaid) and Jack (Sampson) have currently moved on.”

Many squads have signed a few players in the summer and Jamie explains why Chorley haven’t been as prolific.  “We believe that the squad does not need a massive overhaul, but like all teams we welcome improvements.  At the end of the season we approached several players with a view to signing some of them.  One was Jack Sampson and some of the others would be very familiar to our supporters.”

However, there is a lot of money being spent by some teams on players at this level of the game. “Unfortunately, we are in an area where the top players are attracting interest from other high-profile teams.  There has been a lot made of our fantastic season on limited resources, and I’m very aware of the discussions this has prompted.  However, there’s no getting away from the fact that all of the players we have spoken to were offered deals far superior at other clubs and understandably they’ve opted to take those.”

Jamie is quick to confirm that this does not mean that we are at a big disadvantage, however. “This does not mean that we cannot be competitive; we’ve been brilliantly supported by Ken, Graham and the rest of the board.”  He continues; “Having said this, like the board we are realistic, and know that if we try to compete with some of the teams, we would have our budget spent before we could even field a 5-a-side team.”

So how does the management team work to ensure the squad members gel together? “During the close season, we work meticulously to ensure that we are signing players that are right for our club and our team.  We want supporters to have confidence that we will scrutinise every player before we commit to signing, and it’s fair to say that, overall, despite some that have not lived up to expectation in the past, the clear majority of our signings have had a positive impact on our football club.”

The management have made one signing this summer, by bringing Josh Wilson to the club from Telford United; “Refreshingly Josh was just concerned about playing football and representing The Magpies.  He’s aware of the team ethic and desire to win games that has optimised our recent season and he wanted to be a part of this.”  Jamie adds “Josh has a proven track record and provides versatility and will, without doubt be an important member of our squad.”

Speaking about the likelihood of other players coming in, Jamie tells me “Other players have expressed a desire to represent our club and therefore we have invited them to trial with us.  In our first session, yesterday we had eight trialists, six of whom have played in our league and above, with four of them having had football league experience.  They are all looking to earn a limited space in our very strong squad.  Supporters can expect to see a few of these players and possibly some more in the initial preseason games.”

Talking about the retained squad, Jamie says “We believe that last season we had the strongest squad at the club in recent history.  This current season is going to be even harder for any player to cement a place because, once again, the quality has, and will continue, to improve.”

Talking about how the returning players looking after the summer break, Jamie enthuses “From the effort and endeavour put into our first training session yesterday, it is evident that our players have raised our game even further.  Fitness levels, ambition and hunger is high, and the mood is extremely positive.  The aims and expectations for the season have already been shared with the players.”

Jamie adds “We also know what is expected of us.  Our players have received a well-planned preseason schedule which is varied, progressive and enjoyable.  We will be able to give more information on squad developments over the coming weeks but rest assured, our squad has, and will continue to improve.”

Jamie also speaks positively about the non-footballing improvements this summer: “The ambition of the management team, players and supporters is also matched by our board.  This is clearly evident by the strides made recently with the employment of key staff – Dave Riche as CEO and Josh Vosper as Commercial Manager – who can help to improve the effectiveness of the ‘off the pitch management.’  This will without doubt have a positive impact on our on the field activity.”

He is also quick to praise his fellow assistant manager, Jonathan Smith.  Jonathan plays an integral role in our management team. He's particularly pivotal pre-games as he does a lot of opposition analysis and he has compiled a list of players along with their strengths and areas for development for every possible position. Within this list he has references from a range of sources and important information which we use when deciding on making an approach to a club about one of their players or to a player directly if they are unattached. The work that Smudger does cannot be underestimated.”

And of the behind the scenes works over the summer: “It was great to see the improvements to the pitch, office space, club shop and the stand when I visited the club yesterday.  Thanks to many people like Simon Denham, our club continues to move forwards.”



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