Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio is learning fast in the demanding National League

Jamie Vermiglio
Jamie Vermiglio

Craig Salmon talks to Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio about the Magpies’ tough start to life in the National League

Hold on a minute, Craig, I’ve just got to sign-in to school”

Halfway through my regular weekly chat with Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio, our conversation was interrupted by his arrival at Locking Stumps Community Primary School – where he is the headteacher.

‘Bleep, bleep’ – I could just about hear the sound of what appeared to be a security mechanism down the phone line before a number of muffled ‘good mornings ‘could be heard

“Okay Craig, where were we?”

Catching the Magpies manager very early in the morning is paramount if you wish to get the lowdown of the weekly events happening at Victory Park.

Leave it any later and Vermiglio is usually otherwise engaged with school matters and then in the evening his time is taken up with family life – and the small matter of being the head of a semi-pofessional football club, which plies his trade among full-time outfits in the top-flight English non-league football.

You wonder where Vermiglio finds the time in the day to fit all his commitments in.

And with Chorley currently struggling in the bottom reaches after a tough opening to life in the National League following last season’s glorious promotion, you could perhaps understand it if on the odd occasion he chose to ignore a phone call off the Press.

But it’s certainly not in the 37-year-old’s nature to be discourteous in any shape or form.

Indeed what the first few months of this season has taught Vermiglio is that he should be even more respectful than he already is.

Second from bottom and with just one win to their name from 16 games all season, the Magpies produced a battling performance to earn a 0-0 draw at league leaders FC Halifax Town on Tuesday.

Pleased to earn such a morale-boosting point, Vermiglio was disappointed to hear his opposite number Pete Wild rubbish his side’s performance.

In the aftermath of the clash at the Shay, Wild said: “We dominated for 90 minutes, over 90 per cent possession, camped in their half, but they’ve just come and sat in haven’t they?”

“We found it tough to break them down, and it’s frustrating because what have they offered? Zero on the night, nothing.”

They were comments which did not sit well with Vermiglio.

“Their manager gave a few comments in a post-match interview, which I thought were very unprofessional and a little bit untoward,” he said.

“They were certainly not necessary.

“He spoke about the fact that we went there to park the bus and I felt that it was boring – words to the effect, which I thought were totally uncalled for.

“If a team which is bottom of the league can go to a team at the top of the league and keep a clean sheet, then all credit to them and less credit to the team at the top, who have struggled to break us down a nd score a goal. I think they need to comment on themselves as opposed to us.

“I am more disppointed that a fellow professional would make some comments, but I will learn from that myself to be even more respectful of the opposition and more appreciative of the task that they may have in hand.

“ Really he should have given credit to our lads because we’ve stifled them and we’ve obviously stifled the management team because they have been less than pleasant with how they have spoken about us after the match.”

Vermiglio admits he and his men are currently on a steep learning curve on the pitch.

A nd therehavealso been lessons to be learned off the pitch especially when it comes to player recruitment.

“It’s not a quick process when you’re signing a player,” said Vermiglio, who takes his team to Eastleigh this afternoon

“You can sign a player in two ways; you can start by finding if a player might be available by speaking to people.

“Then you’re watching video clips – it’s a time consuming job.

“You’re talking about hours to make sure you’re signing the right one.

“You can go about it that way – and then finally speak to the player.

“But sometimes you feel like your work is wasted especially if you find out the player has already agreed to sign for another club or the club you’re dealing with is not being totally up front.

“You can do it where you agree with the player and club first , then do your research and make your decision afterwards.

“At least then you know you have got the deal over the line. I have been doing it the other way firstand probably wasted a lot of time trying to get the right one in and then been pulled at the end which is disappointing.”

“But that’s just the way it goes unfortunately.”

Vermiglio believes his players are growing accustomed to the demands placed on them this season. After a difficult start, the Magpies have lost just once in their past seven games – albeit five of those have ended in draws, including three stalemates over the past three games. “I think that is fair to say that,” he said.

“I think recent results have reflected that we are making progress, particularly defensively. We went through a patch where we played Notts County and conceded five; we played Solihull Moors and conceded six. When you see that, we have tightened up to such an extent that we are keeping cleans sheets, which is great.”