Ex-Institute captain David Ogilby admits his schooling at Drumahoe is something he’s using at Coleraine now.
The centre-back, who broke into ’Stute’s first team squad in 2003, remembers his debut well losing 2-1 to Glenavon in the CIS Cup and recalls one man in particular who had his back that day.
Ironically it was an old Bannsiders favourite Graeme Philson, who Ogilby concedes played a big role during his younger days at the Riverside Stadium.
“Graeme Philson in particular, he looked after me really well,” he stated.
“If you did make a mistake he was around behind you to clear the danger and even though it’s a long time ago I still remember it clearly.
“He was really good to me off the pitch also talking to me at training and assuring me before games.”
Ogilby feels he is now using that advice Philson gave to him on the young Coleraine squad and, at 32 years-old, he has no desire to hang up the boots just yet.
“Now I try to lead by example especially for the young players,” he said.
“I try to have a word in their ear because they are still learning and they have a lot to learn yet, even though they have been playing a season or two, so anything I can do to help them I’m there for them.
“I’m 33 next month and I know I’m at the wrong end of my career, but I’ll just take it season by season, but I have enjoyed this season.
I’m 33 next month and I know I’m at the wrong end of my career, but I’ll just take it season by season.David Ogilby
“I feel good this year in particular and I have played over 30 games.
“As I said I’m enjoying it, especially this season and the results obviously help so we’ll see how it goes.”
In recent season’s Bannsiders manager Oran Kearney has taken the approach of giving young players a chance and those youngsters have shone particuarly this campaign.
“This last couple of years Oran has really decided to blood a group of youngsters.
“I suppose maybe results suffered a wee bit and people where on his back, but the second half of this season has proved once they get that wee bit of experience, he was proved right to do that.
“Some of them now are all on 80 or 90 games of Irish League Premier Division football,” he added.
“Even though they are young, they still have a fair bit of experience.
“A couple of weeks ago I looked around the pitch and I felt like an old man; I was basically playing with a bunch of youngsters,” he joked.
“But with that they bring a lot of energy and I think Oran is trying to get the balance right with experience and youth and to be fair I think he has got it OK so far.
“The older players need the younger players.
“We need their energy and fitness levels and they need maybe a word in the ear and as I said Oran is trying to get that dovetailed and he has done it well so far.”
This is the Bannsiders fourth Irish Cup fourth final since 2003 and Ogilby believes the Showgrounds men should have had more appearances.
“Coleraine to be honest is a club that should be competing in cup finals more regularly, it should be the norm rather than the exception,” said Ogilby.
“I have had plenty of heartache in the (Irish) Cup over the years, it has not been good to me, especially at Coleraine, we have been disappointing this last couple of years; so it’s good for the supporters and you get a buzz about the town and it’s a day we are very much looking forward to.”
The Manchester United supporter felt their two losses to near neighbours Ballymena United, is what really kickstarted their season again.
Ogilby was also quick to point out that the Bannsiders were a tad unlucky in both encounters.
“We started off OK and we got a run going at the start of the season,” he said.
“But coming into December we had a bit of a ropey time with about six results, two against Ballymena one in the (League) cup and then on Boxing Day, but to be honest there wasn’t much in those games.
“I know we didn’t get the right result, but to be fair since then the boys have really shown some good mental strength from that defeat to our rivals on Boxing Day, we went 17 games unbeaten.
“That run got us into Europe and into the Irish Cup Final.”