It has been a while coming but David Ogilby is finally going to achieve his dream of playing in an Irish Cup final.
The big defender is set to lead Coleraine out against Linfield in this Saturday’s showpiece final, a few years after he thought it would have happened.
“One of the reasons I signed for Coleraine was because I wanted to play in cup finals, but I didn’t think it would take seven years to achieve that,” said Ogilby.
“The last time Coleraine played in an Irish Cup final was 2008, that’s far too long for a club like this, so as a group of players we need to make this the norm and not the exception.
“We all know what it means to the town to be here. If you didn’t all you have to do is take a walk up the Ballycastle Road, it’s full of blue and white flags, it’s plain for everyone to see what it means to everyone.
“The 2003 cup-winning side are still talked about 14 years later, now we have an opportunity to be talked about in the same way in years to come.”
At 32 years old Ogilby is one of the Bannsiders’ elder statesmen in a team packed with exciting young talent.
He is happy though for his young team-mates to continue to pick up the plaudits.
“It’s great as no-one is really talking about us older players, it’s all about the young lads,” joked Ogilby
“It’s a pleasure to be involved with them. There’s six or seven of them who have been playing over the last couple of seasons, and they are all good enough.
“As an older player we need the young players, we need their energy and their legs, and they need us to have a word in their ear and help them out when they need it.
“I think Oran (Kearney) has tried to strike a balance and he seems to have done that well this year.
“He took a bit of flak at times over the last couple of seasons when he was blooding the young lads when results suffered, but it was short-term pain. They have all 80-90 games behind them now, so it was worth it.”
A lot of people are wondering how the young stars will react to playing in what will be the biggest game of their career to date. Ogilby though has no fear about them
“When I was a young player I remember you were allowed to make mistakes, and with that brings a freedom,” he said.
“We have seen that freedom this year. When I was 21 I knew I could make a mistake and I wouldn’t have got a rollicking for it so you could play without pressure.”
While this will be the first cup final for many of the Coleraine squad, they have plenty of cup-winning experience in their ranks with Eoin Bradley, Steven Douglas, ‘Winkie’ Murphy and Oran Kearney.
“Eoin Bradley played and won the cup last season, Oran and Steven Douglas won their fair share with Linfield, and ‘Winkie’ has an unbelievable record of eight wins from nine finals,” said Ogilby.
“We will lean on them and draw from their experience,”