Magpies' fourth round clash to be screened live on BTSport on Friday, January 22
Chorley’s remarkable FA Cup run has provided the town –and football in general – with a huge boost amid the current tough times.
That is the view of manager Jamie Vermiglio, who is still pinching himself after his men were paired with Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers at Victory Park in the fourth round, which will be screened live on BTSport on Friday, January 22 with a 7-45pm kick-off
The Magpies, who are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, made headline news at the weekend when they knocked out Championship side Derby County in the third round of the FA Cup.
That followed magnificent comeback victories against League One outfits Wigan Athletic and Peterborough United in previous rounds. It is the furthest the club has been in the competition in their 138-year history.
Their celebrations – including the rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” – in the dressing room afterwards certainly captured the imagination of football fans across the country.
However, their exuberant celebrations have been highlighted as part of a wider review of football. Some observers have questioned whether it is right that footballers should continue to celebrate closely or hug when they have scored a goal or have enjoyed a victory.
This is especially so when the rest of the population are stuck indoors and are unable to see loved ones in order to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
But many observers suggest that footballers are aiding the nation’s mental health and providing people with an outlet as the country copes with the coronavirus pandemic.
Chorley have a vigorous Covid-19 policy in place and while Vermiglio accepts that they must learn from their actions after the game on Saturday, he believes the vast majority of the public viewed the celebrations as bringing an element of positivity into their lives at the moment.
He said: “As well as rigorous testing procedures in the build-up to the game and limits on the number of people within the bubble, we have a risk assessment that’s adhered to.
“Some actions in there refer to players getting changed in different areas, face masks being worn in different zones, rigorous hand washing, not sharing equipment and limiting time indoors together. However, on this occasion the emotions of the day blurred some key actions and everyone must learn from this.
“We as a club, whilst understanding the implications of the coverage and the perception this gives, hope that people focus on the positivity of the result and what it means for the people of Chorley and in non-league football circles.
“There are hundreds of stories to accompany this one which shows the positive impact of the FA Cup run we’ve had and despite fans not being allowed in, it has brought a lot of joy.”