A WARRINGTON head teacher wants the non-league football team he manages to progress their great FA Cup adventure so that his schoolchildren can continue to feel inspired.

Earlier this month Jamie Vermiglio masterminded a 3-2 giant-killing comeback act at Wigan Athletic for Chorley FC, who have been rewarded with a trip to EFL League One high flyers Peterborough United in the second round this Saturday live on BT Sport 2, kick-off 5.30pm.

Vermiglio, who is in his fourth year as head teacher at Locking Stumps Primary School, can see the benefits the FA Cup run is having on the students and would love for his Magpies side – who play three divisions below Peterborough in National League North – to be in the third-round draw with the Premier League big guns on Monday night.

“The kids would be amazed if we got another win on Saturday,” said the 38-year-old former midfielder at Chorley, Scarborough, AFC Telford United and Northwich Victoria.

“You try your best as a head teacher to inspire the kids, to let them know they can be what they want to be and do what they want to do – even against the odds. You just need to work hard.

“I’m practicing what I’m preaching at the moment and telling them it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be hard, it’s a really big challenge but you never know.

“If we work hard and we believe that we can do it, there’s a possibility that we might be able to. If the kids do get to experience a little bit of that at the end of the game and in the week after then even better.

“The biggest thing would be, imagine watching the draw on Monday night and seeing who Chorley get – and then being drawn against a Man United, or City, or Liverpool, which are the most commonly supported teams around here.

“That would be what dreams are made of. At the moment it’s a great achievement, it’s brilliant to be sharing it with the kids and the school community but just imagine what it potentially could be if we were to have a positive result on Saturday.”

It seems, because of Vermiglio's position at the school, an area of Warrington has taken Chorley FC to their hearts.

And he explained how the children have enjoyed the spotlight due to their head teacher's football role.

Granada paid a visit to do some filming prior to the Wigan cup tie, while one youngster followed Vermiglio around for parts of a day to compile a video diary for BBC's Football Focus.

It brought much excitement locally early into the current Covid-19 lockdown.

"Everybody seemed to know about it at a time when there wasn’t that much to look forward to," he said.

"So there was quite a lot of interest in the game. On the Monday morning, after we’d won the day before, the celebrations continued coming into school.

"I’d say 70 to 80 percent of the community were congratulating me when they came into the school gates. The children had big beaming smiles on their faces and most of them watched it.

"They were obviously pleased for me but it was also just a fact they had watched something that they had a real link to and so it was great to be able to share it with them.

“Without doubt the media element helped a little bit with the curricular side of things in school. They got some education out of it but it was the kudos that came with it for them. They were on the tele, as a few classes were filmed.

"I think the main thing in the times we’re living with at the moment – they’ve not got the sports clubs to be going to or shopping to do at the weekend – so it sort of brought the community together and gave them a little bit of something in common with each other.”

The anticipation is now building for this weekend’s game.

“Parents are starting to talk about it a little bit more at the playground as they’re coming in during the meet and greet and at the end of the day, and a lot of the children have started to talk about it now," he said.

Peterborough have been knocked off top spot since the draw, but will go into Saturday's contest on the back of a 1-0 win against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

The win at Wigan proved to be a catalyst for an upturn in Chorley's form, as they are now four matches unbeaten.

"It’s going to be tough. Our form is a little bit better at the moment, but we’ll see. It’s one game, 11 men against 11 men, so you never know what can happen," said Vermiglio.

"I went to watch Peterborough. They are a formidable side, a very good League One side and probably good enough to compete in the Championship with the players that they’ve got.

"I watched them against Crewe and despite being two goals down they were still a real threat. And then they played against Blackpool and were beaten there.

"I was speaking to both the Blackpool and Crewe managers to get a little bit of information as to how we could capitalise as a team but we never really know on the day.

"I’ve got quite a young squad that’s just been assembled. We had quite a successful last couple of years. Despite being relegated last year, we had promotion in my first season as manager the year before, went into the National League didn’t do so well in there but we’ve reassembled the squad.

"Playing against Wigan, and certainly the result, gave the players a lot of confidence. We’re in a better position now to kick on."