How Chorley helped skipper Andy Teague fall back in love with football ahead of Doncaster Rovers FA Cup clash
He has been a rock in Chorley's defence since 2011 and skipper Andy Teague credits the football club with helping him fall back in love with the game again.
A broken leg playing for Macclesfield at the age of 20 would end Teague’s Football League career.
The centre-half sustained the injury after colliding with keeper Jonny Brain as they tried to stop Stockport equalising in a 1-1 League Two draw in 2006.
He was ruled out for the rest of the 2006-07 season, and then eventually left to join non-league side Lancaster City in 2008.
It would be Flitcroft, who managed Chorley from 2010-2015, who spotted Teague and urged him to join his Chorley team in 2011.
The rest, they say, is history. Two promotions and countless LFA Challenge Trophies later, Teague says the club helped him regain his love of the game.
And now Teague is preparing to lead the now-National League North leaders to history as they bid to slay League One side Doncaster Rovers on Sunday, and reach the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1990.
He said: “When I first signed for Chorley, Garry Flitcroft had a big influence on me.
“He made me enjoy football again.
“Coming to Chorley, he talked about how much of a sleeping giant we were, and how he wanted to ignite the club and keep us going forward.
“Since I have been here we have certainly done that.
“I was at Lancaster after I’d broke my leg and I wanted to try and play football again,
“Luckily when a manager like Garry Flitcroft comes and says he wants you to sign and make you his captain, it was hard to refuse.
“The crowd the club gets, it was a sleeping giant and he talked about pushing forward, winning titles, and that is what I wanted to do.
“Most importantly it was to want to enjoy football again, and once you enjoy that, the performances show it, and I think I have done that for the club.”
When Flitcroft left in 2015, his assistant Matt Jansen took charge.
But after back-to-back play-off defeats, Jansen resigned just before the start of this pre-season.
His assistant Jamie Vermiglio has taken the reins and led the Magpies to the top of the table.
And Teague praised Vermiglio, coach Jonathan Smith and new assistant Andy Preece.
Vermiglio brought his former Northwich Victoria boss Preece in when he took the role.
And Teague said: “Massive respect to Vermo. He took the job when Janny left and he has come in, made a couple of signings, and he is getting the rewards of the work he has put into the club – him, Smudge and Andy.
“It makes a difference when you can see people working so hard, it makes you want to work hard for them.
“It is continuity that keeps it going for the club.
“Vermo has talked about player signings, but when he signed Andy it added a different input and an outside view which we have not had for a while. It has made a big difference.”
And Teague says the highlights of his time at the club has been the friendships he has formed: “All the promotions we have had are highlights. Meeting friends that I have in football, especially at Chorley. A lot of us have stuck together, even when people have left we have remained friends on and off the pitch.
“A lot has been made about the camaraderie we have in the squad and I think that is one of the main reasons why we have done so well over the season.”