IRISH CUP: Coleraine’s David Ogilby sets his sights on winning silverware

Coleraine's David Ogilby
Coleraine's David Ogilby

Coleraine’s David Ogilby insists Saturday’s Irish Cup semi-final clash against Glenavon at the Ballymena Showgrounds is the club’s biggest game of the season to date.

The two rivals will clash looking to book a showdown with either Dungannon Swifts or Linfield in the showpiece final of the year at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.

An the 32-year-old is hoping they can make it a real season to remember with the opportunity of bringing silverware back to the club along with European football in his sights.

“The game against Glenavon in the Irish Cup semi-final is huge for the football club,” he said.

“The financial rewards for qualifying for Europe are significant for the club and we will work very hard to grab that chance.”

Ogilby is loving playing along side the young talent at The Showgrounds and paid tribute to Oran Kearney for the faith he has shown in the players.

“At the start of the season we had a small squad of about 17 or 18 players and many of them were young players,” said Ogilby.

“We lost Ruairi Harkin and Oran opted to let the young players come through and develop.

“They have performed very well and we have a good balance of youth and experience.

“The 12 wins and two draws in 14 matches is a fantastic run and confidence is high.

“You have an extra spring in your step when form is good, we’ve come through a bad spell and shown great mental strength to transform our fortunes.

“Yes, the picture looked bleak after losing to Ballymena United on Boxing Day, but we also knew there was a lot of football still to be played this season.”

With the unbeaten run showing no signs of stopping confidence is high in the Coleraine camp.

They have only tasted defeat once at home this season when Cliftonville secured a 1-0 win back in December.

And Kearney admitted recording positive results against the likes of Crusaders and Linfield makes his job easier.

“My job is to try and inspire people and enthuse them, and try and make them believe they can play,” The Bannsiders boss said.

“When you beat Linfield at their place, and you bring the champions down here and beat them too there’s not as big a need for me to do that because actions speak louder than words.

“No matter what I say to the guys they know what they have just done and they know the direction they are moving in and that’s more powerful than anything I can say.

“We have made this place a bit of a fortress now, we wanted to make it a place where teams don’t fancy coming.

“We have only one defeat here this season which is a great record which the lads should be very proud of,” he added.

And Kearney is determined to lead his side to the final and cup glory.

“It’s a big carrot for us to get to the final especially with so many young players and also so many players whose career hasn’t brought the rewards they deserve.

“Days like that are days to be remembered and ones which you build careers around.

“In our changing room there are a lot of good young players but there’s also a lot of good experienced pros like Neil McCafferty and Ogilby who have been such great servants to the Irish League for so many years.

“For them it would be vitally important to get into that showpiece final as well.”

The Bannsiders are going into Saturday’s game with Glenavon in great form and Kearney says excitement is building among the players.

“We had put a lid on it until after the Crues game,” he said.

“We had three big games in the last week to get out of the way first.

“Now that we have done that we will rest up as there was a lot of energy used last weekend, but we’ll get back at it during the week and get ready for Saturday.

“This is a huge game for us and we want to make it into the final.”