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"I just love the place. I felt I've always been a loyal person, I always take pride in a sense of belonging." - Steve Ogrizovic

24 March 2015

Steve Ogrizovic, club legend and goalkeeping coach, had an exclusive interview with PUSB match-day programme and part one is here...

Steve Ogrizovic, who is the club’s record appearance holder and the current goalkeeping coach, celebrated his 30-year association with the club last year having first signed for the Sky Blues in 1984.

Seeing as it was Retro Day against Doncaster Rovers, the PUSB match-day programme team decided to get an exclusive interview with the City legend on his time at the club.

Part One is below as Oggy talks about his incredible time at Coventry City and his highlights during his time with the Sky Blues.

Make sure you pick up the next PUSB match-day programme for £3 against Leyton Orient on Wednesday, April 1st.

So Steve, you’ve been at the club for 31 years, that's an achievement isn't it!?

It probably is, I've never looked at it as an achievement! I've managed to survive and I'm not quite sure how! 

These 31 years have absolutely flown by, I've really enjoyed it. There's nothing better than playing, anybody will tell you that, the second best thing is coaching. 

I took my badges quite early on, I wanted to play and coach the game that interested and excited me, luckily enough I’ve managed to have a variety of roles with this football club and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

What has made you stay with the club for so long?

To be quite honest, I just love the place. I felt I've always been a loyal person, I always take pride in a sense of belonging. 

I stayed for four years at Liverpool, learned how to be a footballer and learned from the best players in the world, how to approach big games and handle myself. 

I didn't get a great opportunity, I was standing in for Ray Clemence who never got injured but I learned so much. I had to leave though to put what I learned into practice. 

So I spent two years at Shrewsbury in the second division with a team that were doing very well, we finished seventh or eighth in that league but it looked like we might go up at Christmas. 

I always wanted to play at the very top, so my contract ran out and fortunately Coventry came in for me and 31 years later I'm still here! I haven’t looked back and have loved my time here, I just feel so comfortable here.

What are the biggest changes to the game from when you played to now?

Well the strength and the speed of players has changed massively. They are a lot stronger and a lot quicker, with the ball also becoming lighter it has helped to make it more of a spectacle. 

I wasn't about to play with the old case balls but the balls even in my day from the late 70's through to the 90's were hard. 

The balls have been getting lighter which makes them easier to manipulate and control. The pitches as well, the quality is incredible. 

We’re training on training pitches now that would've been considered as high class first team stadia pitches – I always go out to training with a wry smile, if the groundsman puts a little bit of sand when the grass isn't growing,  my goalkeepers will grumble but it's a billiard table! 

Players get spoiled and pampered because everything is so good, but because ball is lighter and the pitches are far better it does promote nicer football which does make for a better game.

Over these past 31 years, what has been your highlight?

I think I would have to say the 1987 cup final was the biggest moment. As a kid, playing at Wembley in an FA Cup final was one thing you always want to do. 

I think with today's era it might be difficult to understand how big it was, we were brought up with no live football apart from cup finals. 

FA Cup final day was a massive day, coverage was on from 9-6 at night and you’d watch every single minute of it. You never quite believe it will happen much, much like being a professional footballer. 

The experiences we had in ’87, not just the final,  the whole run up was incredible. The fans made the whole thing. Their adulation, interest and excitement was just incredible, it lasted for months after and there wasn't a place you could go, if you went to the supermarket it took you three quarters of an hour to get out, old women that had never watched football in their life were queueing for an autograph! 

Even now hardly a day goes by when I don't get someone come up to me and tell me what they were doing for the cup final, it was truly magical. 

I think as players you forget about what it was like for us and the staff, but what it must have been like for the loyal supporters, they’re great memories.

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