THE BIG INTERVIEW
Craig Salmon talks to Chorley play-off semi-final hero Adam Roscoe , who wiill be hoping to help the Magpies win promotion today against FC Halifax Town
Chorley stalwart Adam Roscoe is likely to have just one simple instruction ringing in his ears ahead of today’s huge National League North play-off final clash against FC Halifax Town.
‘Make sure you have got those lucky boots on’ will perhaps be the single biggest message Magpies boss Matt Jansen will relay to the 31-year-old before he walks on to the field of play for the ‘winner-takes-all’ encounter.
The Chorley chief has good reason to implore the striker-turned-midfielder – one of the longest serving members of his squad – to wear a particular, slightly dated, light-coloured pair of Adidas this afternoon.
Roscoe has a habit of scoring momentous goals while wearing them, including last Sunday when he hit a last-minute winner away at Kidderminster Harriers in the play-off semi-final.
After Marcus Carver’s first half strike at Aggborough had levelled the scores on aggregate at 1-1, the game was heading towards extra-time when Roscoe latched on to a through ball before firing home.
The goal had echoes of the one he scored two years earlier – also in a play-off semi-final – away at Boston United.
With the same trusty boots on, he hit a spectacular bicycle-kick equaliser to force the game into extra time and a subsequent penalty shoot-out, which the Magpies won 5-4.
Roscoe revealed he hardly ever wears the boots during the normal season, but might just pluck them out of his bag once more for today’s crunch showdown at The Shay.
“I had my lucky boots on again last week,” said Roscoe.
“They are a pair of old Adidas ones which I have had for years, probably about four or five years.
“I don’t wear them too often, I just put them on for special games.
“I was wearing them two years ago when I scored in the 95th minute of the play-off semi-final against Boston.
“I saw them in my bag last Sunday and I thought I’ll put them on and I managed to score in that semi-final as well.
“I was actually thinking of changing them before the game because they felt a bit loose.
“But I decided to keep them on and the rest is history.”
Roscoe came on as second half substitute on Sunday and admitted that he is still buzzing about his match-winning exploits.
“I just remember the ref giving a free-kick to them when I thought it was the defender who pushed me,” Roscoe recalled.
“I stood over the ball when the lad went to play a quick free-kick, but I let the ball go through my legs.
“I was expecting the ref to blow up for the free-kick to be taken again, but he let it go.
“They messed it up though and the ball ended up with Adam Blakeman at left-back.
“He hit a ball in behind them which I ran onto.
“I kept the defender to one side, went through one-on-one with the keeper, saw a gap and stuck it away.
“After that it was all a bit mad and a bit of a blur. I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night.”
Chorley supporters might have known Roscoe would find the back of the net against Kiddy.
In the Magpies last four play-off campaigns since 2010, he has scored every time at the semi-final stage.
Back in 2011, he notched in a 2-1 victory over Curzon Ashton as Chorley went on to win promotion from the NPL First Division North by beating AFC Fylde in the final.
A year later, Roscoe was on target once more in the end-of-season showdown in the NPL Premier Division – scoring twice against Bradford Park Avenue, although the Magpies would go on to lose in the final to FC United of Manchester.
The amazing goal he scored against Boston will perhaps be what he is most remembered for long after he has hung his lucky boots up.
It catapulted his name into the national media spotlight – the goal was so good that it even made its way onto television.
The strike – which is still available to view on YouTube – drew comparisons with Wayne Rooney’s famous acrobatic overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford in 2011.
Ironically, Roscoe used to be a team-mate of Rooney’s when they both played together as juniors at Everton’s academy.
“That goal I scored against Boston still gets talked about now,”Roscoe said.
“It got shown on Soccer AM. It was mad.
“People have said it was like Rooney’s against City, but I think mine was better – his came off his shin!”
Maybe Roscoe and Rooney honed their overhead kicking skills while training together at Everton as 13 and 14-year-olds.
“We had a really good academy team at Everton,” Roscoe said. “I think we went through an entire season unbeaten as an academy team
“There were a lot of good players who have gone on to have good careers in the game.
“Obviously Rooney, Jay McEvilly...there were quite a few. It was hard to tell how good Rooney was going to be at that age.
“He was quite small when I played with him, but he always had a stocky build .
“I think it was when he was about 15 or 16 when he started to develop.”
Unfortunately for Roscoe while many of his team-mates at the time were offered apprenticeships at Goodison, he was allowed to leave.
“I was absolutely gutted to be released,” he said.
“They told my mum and dad that I was too small which I was at the time when I was 13 or 14.
“How you come to that decision when there’s still time for me to grow; they went off my parents and how tall they are.
“But it’s all worked out well for me. I’ve had a great career with Chorley – I wouldn’t change any of it.”
Roscoe first arrived at the club as a fresh-faced teenager in 2005 after serving an apprenticeship with Southport.
He scored on his debut against Bridlington in a 4-1 defeat, but left Victory Park when he decided to pursue a football adventure in Australia as his sister Victoria had emigrated to Melbourne.
However, he returned home after a year and joined Radcliffe Borough.
His goalscoring exploits soon caught the attention of former Magpies boss Garry Flitcroft, who signed him during his first season at Victory Park in February 2011.
Since then Roscoe has been a permanent fixture in the squad as Chorley have enjoyed one of the finest periods in their history.
They have won two promotions to rise to their current position in the National League North – memorably winning the NPL Premier Division under Flitcroft in 2014.
Now they have the chance of securing the first promotion of Flitcroft’s successor Matt Jansen’s tenure by beating the Shaymen today.
“It’s been the most enjoyable six years of my time in football,”Roscoe said.
“Garry brought me back to the club and we enjoyed great success under him
“Two promotions...winning the league and also winning the LFA Trophy also.
“Matt has come in and moved it on. He will admit, it’s been a learning curve for him.
“Hopefully we can do the business against Halifax. The pressure is all on them. Nobody expected us to be in this position.
“We’ve just got to go out, enjoy it, and get the right result.”