Headteacher takes on Wayne Rooney in the FA Cup

Non-league club managed by primary headteacher face Wayne Rooney's Derby County tomorrow for a place in the fourth round
8th January 2021, 11:20am
Dan Worth

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Headteacher takes on Wayne Rooney in the FA Cup

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/headteacher-takes-wayne-rooney-fa-cup
Chorley Fc, Managed By Primary School Headteacher Jamie Vermiglio, Are Going For Fa Cup Glory This Weekend

Teachers - even those with little to no interest in football - might like to keep an eye on the FA Cup third round match between Chorley FC and Derby County this weekend.

That's because Chorley are managed by primary school headteacher Jamie Vermiglio, of Locking Stumps Community Primary School, in Birchwood, Warrington.

Derby County, meanwhile, are managed by England football legend Wayne Rooney.

Speaking to Tes on the eve of the match, Mr Vermiglio said the build-up had, of course, been affected by his school having to pivot to remote learning this week but that in spite of this there was a growing excitement among pupils, staff and the community for the match.

"In all honesty, I would have liked to be more prepared but my priority, of course, is school so I have been organising all the logistics of another lockdown, and all teachers out there will know what we are going through," he said.


See also5 reasons why teachers would make ideal football managers


"But ever since the first few rounds and when we beat Wigan [in the second round], there has been excitement and we've had TV crews in and some of the children were featured, and it's been great for them to be part of it.

"Of course, I would have liked to have done more this week but we know the parents are fully on board and the community is behind us - it's nice for everyone to have something to look forward to.

FA Cup: Being a headteacher 'helps in managing a football club'

Due to a coronavirus outbreak at Derby's training facilities, the match will feature Derby's under-23 and under-18 squad - giving Chorley a huge chance of making it to the fourth round of the competition.

Mr Vermiglio said while this was true, it also meant it was harder to know what sort of team or players they would be facing.

"They won't be at full strength but we've got to prepare as best as possible still, and I have been lucky to get some footage of them from friends at different places," he said.

While many teachers may wonder about the workload involved in managing a football team and running a school, Mr Vermiglio said that the two roles actually have many transferable skills that can make life that bit easier.

"Yeah, they are very transferable skills - ultimately they are [both about] people skills and I'm a strong believer in developing relationships and once you have them, you can challenge and be robust or you can offer an arm, a shoulder and be the friend they want and get the best out of people," he said.

"Of course, sometimes that's successful and sometimes it's not - in both areas - but, yeah, managing a football team has many attributes needed for a school and I'm pleased to say that I do utilise that in both ways."

Chorley currently play in National League North, the sixth tier of English football. Derby County play in the second tier, the Sky Bet Championship.

The match at their home ground, Victory Park, will kick off at 12.15pm on Saturday and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

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