Wolves medic Danny Fishwick delighted as he heads back to Chorley

There is plenty of excitement, anticipation and perhaps slight trepidation as Wolves get ready to travel to non-league Chorley in the FA Cup tomorrow.

Danny Fishwick treating Wolves defender Willy Boly last season
Danny Fishwick treating Wolves defender Willy Boly last season

And one man in the Wolves camp is going back to the place where he learned his trade.

Danny Fishwick, a key part of the club's much-heralded medical team, has been 'buzzing' ever since the draw was made having spent three fruitful years with the Lancashire club.

Now tasked with keeping Nuno Espirito Santo's stars in peak physical condition, Victory Park was where – on a part-time basis, working closely with a part-time playing squad – he honed his craft.

On his current role at Wolves as first team sports rehabilitator, Fishwick – who has also worked in Australia for Perth Glory and at Fleetwood Town in the Football League, said: "Basically, it's preparing the players, making sure they're ready for training, making sure they're ready for matches.

"We do rehab with the injured players, treatments, that kind of thing.

"You're also involved in emergencies on a matchday and at the training ground, so it's a varied role.

"A bit of everything, really. It's been busier this season, but that's what we're here to do."

While Nuno and his coaching staff will have done plenty of analysis on the National League North club, Fishwick is well-versed in the values and work ethic Chorley hold dear.

Their current boss, Jamie Vermiglio took the reins after Fishwick left for Fleetwood – spending 18 months there before joining Wolves, where he is coming up to four years.

They know each other well though, having both enjoyed winning the Northern Premier League, reaching the National North play-offs and winning the Lancashire Senior Cup.

"While I was at university, I worked at a few clubs – Huddersfield, Altrincham and a few non-league teams. That was to learn off physios and get that baseline for things I would do in the future," said Fishwick, when asked how he ended up at Chorley.

Danny Fishwick is Wolves' first team sports rehabilitator

"I got the opportunity to go over to Australia, because my family moved over, and I got lucky, really.

"A chap from up north was manager of a team I was helping out at, and his wife was working with Perth Glory, so I got involved with them through that link.

"I came back from Australia after a year and I had a few emails – Chorley came up, and their rivals Fylde did too.

"It was a choice of one or the other. I spoke to both, but Gary Flitcroft was the manager of Chorley at the time. I'm a Blackburn fan, so that kind of sold it to me, really, as it was him and Matt Jansen as the management team.

"It went from there and I spent a good three years there. They're a great club, a great family club.

"Throughout my time there and even now, I get texts from people there – everyone knows everyone.

"Back in the day before Covid, you'd go in the bar and have a drink with the fans and have a bit of food. The players would be mingling with the supporters, so it was a great atmosphere.

"It's an old non-league club, a traditional club in non-league history.

"When Gary was manager, Jamie, who is in charge now, was a player. Unfortunately, he had problems with his back and had to stop playing. But from there, he got involved with the management team.

"He was an assistant to Gary and Matt, and then became an assistant to Matt when Gary left.

"I had a really good relationship with Jamie. He's a top guy. He's a headteacher as well so he's a busy man, but he loves his football."

So far in the cup, Chorley have pulled off upsets over Wigan, Peterborough and a youthful Derby after they were hit by coronavirus – and it does not surprise Fishwick.

"From knowing Jamie a while, he always get the lads running around. He will look to get them running more than the other team, knowing that will give them a good chance of winning," he said.

"He's clever. He loves his set-pieces and can be very intricate. He leaves no stone unturned and is about those details.

"You can tell he's doing a great job now, they're flying."

Fishwick, who still keeps in close contact with plenty of people at Chorley, will always be grateful for the grounding he got there.

He feels the responsibility he had there put the 'building blocks' in for his role now, being able to use first-rate resources and working with an 'amazing' team.

Danny Fishwick during his time at Chorley

"When I was with Chorley, it was the management team and me, on my own. Now I'm lucky to be part of an amazing team at Wolves," said Fishwick.

"I used to get help from students at Chorley, but I mainly had to deal with everything going on – all sorts.

"It really helped me, that experience. Chorley are a traditional non-league team. They have more resources than you'd expect at a non-league club, but you have to do the best you can.

"There wasn't much emergency-wise, so we built that up together. It was building blocks.

"So, coming to a Premier League team is much different – players are full-time and top of their level as athletes. The resources are second to none.

"But the building blocks were there from my time at Chorley, making decisions on my own and based on the resources we had available."

On tomorrow's clash, he added: "It'll be brilliant. My phone hasn't stopped these past few weeks.

"I was watching the draw and my wi-fi isn't the best, so I was a few minutes behind and all the texts started coming in, and I was thinking surely not?

"I've been buzzing ever since. When I was there, I did a lot of work with a charity called Twincess which helps both raise awareness of Down Syndrome and connect families of children with Down Syndrome

"The first text I got was from my friend who runs that, so it's a shame the fans can't come and watch. But my phone has been non-stop. It's been class."

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