Chorley boss Vermiglio pleased to see Josh O’Keefe sign a new deal

Magpies midfielder Josh O'Keefe
Magpies midfielder Josh O'Keefe
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Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio did not just celebrate his side returning to the top of the National League North at New Year but midfielder Josh O’Keefe committing his future to the club.

The 4-0 win over FC United, and Bradford Park Avenue’s New Year’s Day defeat by Guiseley, saw the Magpies climb back to the top of the table.

It was Chorley’s third win in a row as they brushed off a 4-2 defeat to Blyth Spartans by beating FC United 4-1 on the road, won 1-0 at Curzon Ashton, then beating FC United at Victory Park.

Now they head to Hereford FC tomorrow on a high. O’Keefe, 30, enjoyed a spell at Edgar Street when the club was called Hereford United between 2012 and 2014 before.

Spells at Kidderminster, Telford, Chester and Altrincham then led to him moving to Chorley in 2016.

And he celebrated signing up until at least 2020 by netting twice, Elliot Newby also grabbing two, on New Year’s Day.

Vermiglio says the new deal is not just good news for his promotion chasers on the pitch but off it too. He said: “He did not have the best of seasons in his first campaign and he came as a big signing.

“He played a lot of games in the Conference, had scored a lot of goals but for one reason or another in the first season it just did not click.

“It may have been how we were playing, the style or how we were setting up in midfield but since then, this season especially, he has really kicked on. He is not just a good player, he is a brilliant person, a good role model around the place.

“His presence around the changing room is just second to none. So to secure a player like that is huge.”

It was not the only boost on Tuesday, with Scott Leather recovering from a back injury to replace skipper Andy Teague. Both are in contention for the weekend with keeper Matty Urwin also set to return. Midfielder Dale Whitham might still not be fit enough to feature but the club have had good news about the illness that has ruled him out for the last few weeks.

Vermiglio said: “Scott played half a game – he has been a massive miss for us.

And he wished Whitham a speedy recovery. He said: “Dale has had bronchitis.

“Thankfully he is just at the back end of it now.

”He is Chorley through and through and a big part of our club.Best wishes to him from all at the club and we hope to see him back soon.”