COLERAINE skipper David Ogilby has his heart set on a north west derby in this year’s Setanta Cup.
The draw for the cross border competition takes place next Thursday and although the Bannsiders can’t be paired with Derry City in the first round, the big man from the Maiden City told Times Sport the chance of a tie with the Candystripes is the perfect incentive to progress in the competition. “We can’t draw them in the first round so that’s the perfect incentive for us to progress to the second round,” said Ogilby.
“Everyone about the place wants to draw Derry and I’m sure it’s the same up at the Brandywell. It’s one of those games which would have an electric atmosphere…it would be a great tie.
“There would be a bit of needle in the game too, but as I say that would make for a great game I’m sure.”
The Bannsiders have only featured in the competition once, back in 2009. Ogilby has yet to taste any action in the tournament, which has since changed format to straight knockout, and he is clearly looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s maybe not as high profile as it was a few years ago, but it’s still a competition you want to be in to test yourself against the best teams from down south,” he said.
“The format is a lot simpler now and as Crusaders proved last season if you get a lucky break and win your games you can find yourself in the final.
“The Irish League always gets put down in comparison to the League of Ireland, but I don’t think the gap is as big as it once was. That’s why you want to play against southern teams just to se where you are at compared to them.
“Like every competition we enter we want to win it and with the Setanta you only have to win four a five game and you’re in the final and that’s something which we are more than capable of achieving.”
Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney is also looking forward to leading his team across the border.
“Our league is a super league but it can get monotonous at times so the Setanta Cup will add a bit of excitement to our season,” Kearney told Times Sport.
“I think everyone will look forward to heading down south, but there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then.
“It would be fantastic for the area if that draw would happen. We’ve got to do our bit and get through the first round.
“When those games took place years ago their was a real hype and excitement and it would be excellent to experience that again.”
Ogilby meanwhile is hoping there will finally be some light at the end of the tunnel as he bids to shake off a thigh injury.
“It’s just one of those injuries that needs time to heal, there’s nothing I can really do but wait unfortunately,” said the club captain.
“It has been very slow for me but hopefully over the next couple of weeks we’ll see a big improvement with it.
“It has been so frustrating for me because throughout my career I’ve been very lucky with regards injury. I think I’ve only really missed about nine or ten games in that entire time.
“So it’s new to me to be out for so long and having to watch from the sidelines and it’s not something I’m enjoying too much. It’s difficult to watch when you want to be in the middle of it.
“I hate missing games. It hard when we’re maybe not playing as well as we can as I can’t do anything to try and help the guys. But it’s equally as tough to miss the good times like the Linfield win here.”
STORY: STEVEN CRAWFORD