Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio eyes National League play-off spots
Chorley have no intention of just making up the numbers when they begin life in the top flight of non-league football this weekend.
The Magpies’ promotion last season means they now operate in the National League – just one step below the Football League – for the first time in 29 years.
It is certainly going to be a challenge for the part-timers as they come up against full-time clubs on a regular basis.
With that in mind, you would imagine survival is at the forefront of manager Jamie Vermiglio’s mind.
However, the Magpies boss sees no reason why his players cannot set their sights higher and challenge at the top.
“Many of our supporters and other people have said if we stay up, it will be viewed as a successful season,” said Vermiglio.
“But I don’t look at it like that. I have a lot more ambition than that. We always go into every game thinking we can win and that will be no different.
“The ambition is to get as close to the play-offs as we can.
“That’s the aspiration. There’s no point in making the step up if we are not going to challenge.
“Maybe after the first 10 games, we can look at how we have done and where we are, then we might have to re-evalute, but our target is to go for the play-offs.”
Vermiglio believes in pure football terms, on a one-on-one basis, his team will hold their own against anybody in the division.
But he admits the ‘part-time factor’ will leave his men at a disadvantage over the course of the season.
“I think in a one-versus-one, over 90 minutes, we have got a chance as good as anybody,” he said.
“We saw that last season, we beat Barrow, who are full-time, in the FA Cup and Doncaster – we competed with them in the first game.
“I think it’s everything else – the travelling, the Saturday-Tuesday then train Thursday while having to hold down a full-time job.
“For example, I was speaking to a couple of our lads this week who need operations and scans, they are having to sort it out themselves, whereas players at other clubs have somebody to do that for them.
“A lot of these clubs we are coming up against have a lot of full-time staff whereas we just have a group of volunteers running the club.
“But we all just have to pull together.”
This weekend, Chorley open their account against Bromley at Victory Park. They finished 12th last season in the table and are sure to provide a real test for the newly-promoted side.
Vermiglio will be without goalkeeper Matt Urwin, who could face eight weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury. Louis Almond is also struggling with a similar injury.
Courtney Meppen-Walter and Scott Leather are also injury concerns.