Big Interview: Chorley FC’s Adam Blakeman on why he’s staying at Victory Park

Players celebrate after Blakeman (second from right) scores Chorley's second against Guiseley (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Players celebrate after Blakeman (second from right) scores Chorley's second against Guiseley (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
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They sing about him being on fire and Chorley wing-back Adam Blakeman will be lighting up Victory Park for another season after signing a new deal.

The 27-year-old raced on to nine goals for the term by October.

An early season aim to add more goals to his game is paying dividends as he and Chorley raced to the top of the National League North – and top of the 
goalscoring charts.

Blakeman made it nine with a double in the FA Cup win at Peterborough Sports in October but a man who seemed destined to hit the double-figure mark first for Jamie Vermiglio’s promotion chasers had to bide his time to make it 10.

Striker Marcus Carver hit the tally first but Blakeman ended his barren spell by netting in the 3-0 win over Gusieley last month.

Forward Josh Wilson also hit double figures that day with his fellow midfielder Josh O’Keefe and the Newby brothers Alex and Elliot hot on their heels.

A tally of 57 for the year has been shared around the whole pack, just keeper Matty Urwin without a goal from the starting line-up that beat York City 4-1 last time out.

For Blakeman that goalscoring form is something he had targeted on a personal note to add to his own impressive performances since his arrival from Southport in the summer of 2016.

The wing-back was dubbed the most technically gifted player in his pack by boss Vermiglio.

And with the Magpies on a high Blakeman has signed on the dotted line to extend his stay at Chorley until at least the summer of 2020.

The Southport native is now targeting three things – more goals, promotion and to keep on enjoying his football.

Speaking about his ending that drought he said: “I thought I was doing okay last year but I felt I needed to add goals to my game.

“Thankfully this year I have been in the right place at the right time and just stuck a few in.

“I think scoring so many early on was a bit of a thing really because I have not scored that many for so many years.

“To finally get that 10th one hopefully I can kick on now and score a few more before the end of the season.”

Blakeman is one of many Chorley players with academy pedigree.

He started out in Liverpool’s academy before moving to Bolton Wanderers.

He left full-time football aged 21, going to Hyde, Ayr United, Southport and then finally Chorley.

But the left-footer could have been celebrating more than his third season at Victory Park, as he explained that he could have joined the Magpies earlier than his 2016 switch.

Speaking about his move to non-league he said: “I think you take time to adapt.

“When you first come out of full-time football it is quite hard to get to the grips of non-league.

“Now at Chorley I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

“From training to travelling to games with all the lads we have a great bunch of lads and it is really easy to enjoy your football and it shows with how well we are doing.

“I was at Liverpool from nine to 16 and at the time that was probably one of the best places to be because they had the best coaches.

“When I was 16 I went to Bolton and had five years there, enjoyed it.

“I could not get a full-time club after that and went part-time in 
non-league but I’ve really enjoyed it since then. I went from Hyde to Ayr. I enjoyed my time up there then came back to Southport and on to Chorley.

“It was funny actually. The former Chorley manager Matt Jansen and Jamie Vermiglio both spoke to me in the December before I signed and wanted me to sign then, but I was at Southport at the time and we were doing okay.

“So it was not a time I wanted to move but in the summer as soon as the season finished I spoke to them both again and they were both eager to bring me in.

“As soon as the season finished I was like, ‘That is were I want to go’ and I signed.”

The defender has not looked back since and though many people would not have backed Chorley to be four points clear at the top of the National League North table, Blakeman says this squad always knew they could challenge.

He believes it is the strongest squad he has ever been involved in and believes that given the quality in their ranks they have underachieved over the last few years. The Magpies have lost in the play-offs in Blakeman’s previous two terms.

And now he wants them to go one better.

He said: “I think we as a team know we are capable of that but if you had asked people at the start of the season if that would have been us right up there, I don’t think anyone would have taken you on.

“As a team and a squad we believe in our ability.

“It is one of the strongest squads I have ever been involved in I’m not surprised we are doing so well.

“We’ve had a really good squad for a few years and I don’t think we have done as well as we could or should have done over the past few years.”

And what is the secret to their challenge for the automatic spot?

He said: “Consistency over the past few years we’ve gone on runs and had spells but I think this year the belief is there.

“We know what we are capable of and being consistent is key.”