Former Blackburn Rovers ace Flitcroft aiming high with Chorley

Garry Flitcroft

Garry Flitcroft

First published in Sport Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

GARRY Flitcroft retains ambitions to move into full-time management.

But for now the former Blackburn Rovers captain remains happy to continue to guide Chorley up the non-league ladder.

Flitcroft has masterminded two promotions in four seasons since taking charge of the Magpies in May 2010 – and his achievements have not gone unnoticed.

He was interviewed for the Preston North End job before Graham Westley’s appointment in January 2012 while he was also linked with the vacant Accrington Stanley hotseat before fellow former Rover James Beattie was installed in May last year.

But, on the eve of the new Conference North season, Flitcroft is content at Victory Park.

He is desperate to lead Chorley into the top flight of non-league football while his part-time role also allows him to concentrate on his new Garstang-based business, Flitcraft Ecobuild.

Flitcroft, Rovers’ skipper when they won promotion to the Premier League in 2001, said: “I’ve said it all along I want to take Chorley all the way through the leagues and we’re doing that at the minute.

“I went for an interview with Peter Ridsdale for the Preston job just before Graham Westley got it and I had a great chance of getting that.

“But with what I’m doing with my property business, Chorley suits me part-time at the minute.

“I’ve got other commitments but I’m an ambitious lad and if a job came up that I really thought I wanted to take on, I probably would do.

“I had a chance with the Accrington Stanley job – maybe that wasn’t the right job at the time – but I’m just enjoying my time at Chorley at the minute.”

And Flitcroft, who made 280 appearances and scored 20 goals in 10 years for Rovers, has no doubt he has made the better choice by starting his managerial career in non-league.

Whereas some of his former Ewood Park team-mates, like Craig Short, Henning Berg and Mark Hughes, went straight into professional management to varying degrees of success, the 41-year-old made the conscious decision to cut his teeth in the part-time game.

Flitcroft said: “I always remember Neil Warnock saying to me at Sheffield United that if you’re going to start somewhere in management, start in non-league.

“Martin O’Neill did it as well and I just think if you can do your grounding at this level – your apprenticeship if you like – then you can do it at the levels above.

“It’s definitely grounded me. A lot of the lads I have played with went straight into league football and I’m glad I’ve gone this way.”

Flitcroft played under some top managers during a 15-year playing career which was ended by injury in 2006.

But the former England U21s international, who was 33 when he was forced to hang up his boots, insists he is very much his own man.

Flitcroft said: “I’ve played for the likes of Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes, Graeme Souness, Peter Reid and Bryan Kidd and I’ve taken bits from each of them, coaching wise.

“But at the end of the day I’m my own manager – and I think my man management is very good.

“I look after my lads as I’m a great believer that if you do that you will get the best out of them.

“That’s how I’ve had my success.”

Comments (1)

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7:41pm Sun 27 Jul 14

roverinmanchstr says...

All the best to the Magpies and in both league and FA Cup..I am cofident in Garry's ability to take us forward to the top.... The only concern I have is that the 120.000 plus population in the Chorley area can become active in supporting the team. I believe we really need to 'average' gates of over 1300, at least and many more in the Conference Premier if and when promoted..So c'mon Chorleians lets see you down at Victory Park , Duke Street.....
All the best to the Magpies and in both league and FA Cup..I am cofident in Garry's ability to take us forward to the top.... The only concern I have is that the 120.000 plus population in the Chorley area can become active in supporting the team. I believe we really need to 'average' gates of over 1300, at least and many more in the Conference Premier if and when promoted..So c'mon Chorleians lets see you down at Victory Park , Duke Street..... roverinmanchstr
  • Score: 0

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