CHORLEY FOOTBALL CLUB need a hero – and are prepared to offer a goalkeeper the chance of a lifetime.
The National League North side, managed by ex-Premier League star Matt Jansen, have launched an emergency Twitter appeal for a shotstopper to play in their FA Cup first round clash with Fleetwood.
A 4-3 win at Boston United on Tuesday secured them a glamour home tie against League One opposition, which will be screened live on BT Sport on Monday 6 November.
The only problem is two of the non-league team’s most vital players are cup-tied – and that has left them without a senior ‘keeper.
No1 Matt Urwin is on-loan at the Lancashire club from their visitors – making him ineligible to play against his parent club due to the competition’s rules.
Midfielder and fellow Fleetwood man, and Chorley’s top scorer Nick Haughton, is also in a similar scenario.
But the situation has left Chorley in a pickle and with no-one to pull on the gloves– leading to the desperate appeal for a goalie to face the Cod Army that has turned into a social media frenzy.
Chief executive Dave Riche exclusively told SunSport: “Honestly, it’s gone ridiculous. We did the tweet on Wednesday afternoon when I was sat with the owners of the club and we were saying ‘what are we going to do now for a goalkeeper?’”
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“So we decided to put a little cheeky tweet out there to see who comes forward and it’s gone absolutely crazy.
“That’s the power of social media. We know there are a lot of big name players out there and we are hopeful that one of them might see this appeal and decide to come and do Chorley a huge favour and we’d be so grateful to them for doing it.”
Chorley have already been inundated with hopeful candidates ready to step up to the plate and help them out.
And while they are open to those down the football pyramid coming to their aid, they are initially hoping to entice individuals with experience of the bigger stage.
Riche continued: “Matt’s got a little black book of contacts that he is looking through and he knows what we have done with the Tweet to try and raise some attention.
“The final decision is obviously down to him as he picks the team.
“But we know football is a cruel game sometimes and there are a lot of ex-pros, free agents and out of contract players out there who have played at a very high standard. Maybe even a goalkeeper who has hung up the gloves temporary but feels they could come in and do a job for us against Fleetwood as a one-off.
“We have had the confirmation that it is going to be shown on television. So there will also be that exposure as well for individuals.”
Chorley are definitely a club on the rise under the stewardship of former Blackburn, Crystal Palace and England Under-21 striker Jansen.
The 39-year-old has been with the Magpies since 2010 and took charge of the first-team in 2015.
Last year they came within a whisker of securing promotion to the Conference National last season and are currently on an impressive run of one defeat in 11 matches.
They harbour hopes of turning professional very shortly, and the cash injection from their longest run in the FA Cup for 27 years will be invested in helping them secure a bright future.
Riche added: “Even at our level, some clubs have a wealth of cash behind them and rich backers to keep them going.
“Chorley Football Club is steeped in tradition and we don’t pay out more than we have got as a club.
“We are fortunate enough to have been selected for TV and that gives us a great payday plus the additional sponsorship and revenue from ticket sales.
“And that could keep us going for the next couple of years and we can plan our future on it.
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“We have ambitions to improve the ground and to play full-time football within the next two years ideally, and above all else the target is promotion this season.
“We all know what the FA Cup can do – it’s a magical competition and it’s a great chance for a goalkeeper and midfielder to come in and see what they can do for us.”
Are you the man Chorley need? Or do you know a former pro who fancies pulling on the boots one more time to help the side from Victory Park secure cup glory? Then contact [email protected] with your details now.