Youth is the way forward for Andy Preece’s Magpies

Andy Preece admits developing young players will continue to be the policy for Chorley as they look to maintain their position as a leading light in the National League North.
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The part-time Magpies have more than held their own in the higher echelons of non-league football despite the fact that they are often competing against full-time outfits.

It means they are often unable to compete on a level-footing for players financially, so must scour the market in the hope of uncovering a gem.

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Ahead of last weekend’s opening league fixture at Telford United – which ended in a narrow 1-0 loss for Chorley – Preece brought in youngsters Joe Nolan and Callum Schorah.

Chorley boss Andy PreeceChorley boss Andy Preece
Chorley boss Andy Preece

The latter has come through the academy at Blackburn Rovers and spent part of last season on loan with Curzon Ashton, where he made 18 appearances.

Schorah has arrived from from AFC Liverpool and last season was voted joint NWCFL Premier Division Player of the Year.

The 24-year-old spent the summer playing in the US and was unavailable for the Telford game due to not receiving international clearance in time. After taking over from Jamie Vermiglio, Preece – who worked as the previous boss’ assistant – hasn’t made too many changes.

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Barring summer signings Scott Wilson, everyone of the starting XI last weekend were integral members of last season’s squad.

"We have to bring in players who are young to hopefully develop and improve them during their time with us,” said Preece, whose side face Darlington at home this weekend.

"That is how we have gone for years now and going forward that is the way that we will go. Joe’s a competitive midfielder who can play – he can pass, he can tackle, he’s got a bit of everything.

"Callum has been at AFC Liverpool and was the league’s player of the year for the past couple of years.

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"He’s a little No.10 – Elliot Newby type if you want a comparison – he’s got that quality and hopefully he can take the opportunity.”

Elsewhere in the division, AFC Fylde travel to Banbury United while Southport – fresh from their dramatic 5-3 win over Boston United last weekend – host Peterborough Sports.