AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan says he would love to see former Bucks team-mate Jamie Vermiglio’s Chorley side win the National League North title.
Cowan, 37 and Vermiglio, 36, helped the Bucks reach the FA Trophy semi-final and lost in the National League North play-off final to Gateshead in the 2008-09 season.
Like Vermiglio, Cowan was handed his first managerial job last summer.
Cowan had guided the Bucks to the final play-off position in the National League North, five points clear of their nearest challengers
But Vermiglio’s Chorley side are battling for the title with Stockport County.
The Magpies are two points ahead but County have a game in hand going into the final month of the campaign.
And Cowan is not surprised to see Vermiglio doing well as he says his success both on and off the pitch is no fluke but down to hard work and intelligence.
He said: “All the lads from that (2008-09) season I’m still in touch with. You have a togetherness with a season like that and stay friends.
“He’s done a phenomenal job. I speak about resources and they’re limited very much like us, but he’s been very astute with his staff.
“His knowledge of players has proved to be very beneficial. He’s done an unbelievable job, they’ve been in and around the play-offs but he’s taken them to the next level.
“I’d love him to win the league. But it’s not at our expense – leave us to win tomorrow and they can win every game between now and the end of the season.
“There will all be welcomes and hugs but when the whistle blows we have a job.
“He’s been very successful in everything he’s done. A semi-pro footballer and then as a teacher he could not have been more successful and now as a manager. It says a lot about him as a person.
“You’ve got to put the work in but you can’t be a lucky fool, you’ve got to have intelligence.
“There are a lot of factors, you’ve got to have an amazing wife, which we both do, and support around you at home.
“I’m very privileged to be manager of AFC Telford, I had a big responsibility to bring the soul and identity back.”
And Cowan says their bond is such that Vermiglio asked his advice before stepping up from first team coach to manager in the summer.
Cowan said: “When we played together we grew a really strong bond and are always able to touch base.
“When I took the job he was over the moon and I think the first to contact me. I was the first one he called when he got the job. I told him it’s not the easy life, you stick your neck out to be shot at.
“It’s great to see young and – I would like to think – forward-thinking hungry managers with different ideas at this level or higher.”