AFC Fylde are the team to beat says Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio

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Magpies boss Jamie Vermiglio believes any team which finishes above AFC Fylde this season has a great chance of winning promotion.

The Coasters are certainly the heavyweights of the National League North thanks to their wealthy backer David Haythornthwaite.

Under manager Jim Bentley, the Coasters are handily placed in the division in second spot – one point behind leaders Brackley Town.

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The fixture also sees the Magpies renew acquaintances with arguably their fiercest rivals over the last few years.

Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Both clubs have enjoyed a similar trajectory over the past decade – rising from the NPL First Division North to their current position. At one point both were in the National League – just one step away from the Football League.

While the poor relation in terms of finance in comparison to the Coasters, Chorley have certainly held their own against their neighbours over the years. In fact, they hold the advantage in the overall head-to-head, winning eight opposed to Fylde’s seven with four draws.

Last year, the Magpies enjoyed a 3-1 win over their rivals at Victory Park on Boxing Day, but were then walloped 4-0 at Mill Farm a few days later.

“It’s a local derby,” said Vermiglio.

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“All the lads will be up for it, the fans will be up for it.

“Over the last 10 years, we have always been a bit neck-and-neck with them.

“We have both won promotions, been up near the top of the league and it is fair to say generally we have always done well against them. I think they will be the favourites to win with the way they have grown as a club over the years, the expectations.

“On the day, we know that we are a match for anybody.

“Fylde are probably the best footballing team in the league. They shift the ball really well and create one-on-ones with just a couple of passes.

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“We have learned our lesson from last season. We played against them at home and beat them 3-1. We were strong and aggressive but then we played them away – we probably went into that game a bit over confident and they absolutely battered us so we want to put that right this season.

“I think Fylde are the team to beat in the division. There’s Gateshead with the momentum, Boston and Brackley, but it’s hard to look past Fylde.

“Jim Bentley and Nick Chadwick done a good job there since they came in.”

Southport are away to Curzon Ashton.