Defender Lewis Baines hails fantastic team spirit in Chorley squad

Chorley ace Lewis Baines has labelled the Magpies' team spirit  as the best he has ever experienced.

By Craig Salmon
Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:30 pm

The Magpies are currently riding high in fourth spot in the National League North, just four points off leaders Brackley Town.

They take on the leaders later this month, but first they face second-placed Gateshead at the International Stadium this weekend.

It promises to be a crucial few weeks for the Magpies but Baines believes the great relationship between the players, manager and coaching staff will help them cope with the demands placed on them.

Lewis Baines, centre, celebrates a Chorley goal with Harry Cardwell, right, and Mike Calveley against Chester (photo:Stefan Willoughby)

That camaraderie in the dressing room was highlighted this week when midfielder Billy Whitehouse produced 'player profiles' of his team-mates on social media.

The comical caricatures of each Magpies player have certainly been well received by fans and provided plenty of banter on the training pitch according to Baines.

"That all came about because our game against AFC Fylde was called off last Sunday because of Covid-19 and we trained instead," said Baines.

"Billy had to do a forfeit because of something which happened in training and he's been putting something up every day about the lads.

Player profile creator Billy Whitehouse (photo Stefan Willoughby)

"It's been a good laugh, but we are good friends. We all socialise together outside of football and do everything together. Hopefully that will go a long way until the end of the season by helping us get some good results.

"All the lads are top drawer - it's the best dressing room I have been involved in."

As a player, Baines believes he is reaching the peak of his powers.

And he has thanked Vermiglio and his fellow team-mates for helping him play the best football of his life.

The 23-year-old is one of the first names jotted down on the team sheet by manager Jamie Vermiglio.

After arriving at the club initially on loan from Fleetwood Town in 2018, Baines has grown in stature over the past few years.

He has played every minute of every league for Chorley this season, helping them to their current place in fourth spot in the National League North

Baines will be entrusted by Vermiglio to help Chorley deliver the three points against Gateshead which would certainly throw the promotion race wide open especially as the Tynesiders have two games in hand on most of their rivals at the top.

"I would say this is the best season that I have played so far in terms of consistency," said Baines, who was an ever present last season during the Magpies' famous run through to the FA Cup fourth round where they were beaten by Premier League Wolves at Victory Park.

"I have played every single minute of every game in the league this season.

"I think the manager sees me as a key player in the team and he has told me that, so that's a nice feeling.

"Obviously when your manager is telling you that, it gives you great confidence.

"I am playing in a really good team and that goes a long way too."