Trowbridge at Twickenham: Ojomoh can't wait for Sunday's cup clash with Leek (From This Is Wiltshire)
Trowbridge at Twickenham: Ojomoh can't wait for Sunday's cup clash with Leek
During an illustrious playing career, Twickenham was like a second home to Trowbridge head coach Steve Ojomoh.
In fact, as a 12-times capped former England international Ojomoh’s name actually adorns a wall at the spirtual home of English rugby.
Therefore, as the nervous excitement has welled up inside his players ahead of Sunday’s big day out in the last week, few could have been better qualified than the former Bath and Gloucester back row forward to help bring an air of calm to preparations or offer the right words to soothe frayed minds.
“I’m trying to help the guys because it just brings memories of my games at Twickenham back,’’ he said.
“What was nice about those days with Bath– and is nice this time – is that it was the last game of the season.
“By and large, Bath had often sewn up the league then and we could really enjoy the cup final week, the whole build-up to it.
“The first time you play there your legs go completely and you panic. You think you can’t go any further, but then you recover and get a second wind.
“Pressure does a lot of things to people. It’s hard to say it but it has to be just another ground. Hopefully, I can get my players to just enjoy it.’’
In the 1990s Bath supporters had virtually an annual booking at English rugby’s headquarters as their team, featuring Ojomoh, swept to the final of the Pilkington Cup year after year.
Ojomoh, 43, was a member of winning cup squads in 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996. Remarkably, the last of those triumphs remains the last major domestic honour the Rec has won.
He was as successful there in an England shirt. Although only three of his caps came at home, two brought victories and the last was a sub apperance as his country clinched the 1995 Grand Slam with a Calcutta Cup win over Scotland.
Ojomoh has been a visitor to Twickenham since, but retreading old ground around the changing rooms deep in the bowels of the stadium will be a welcome reminder of days gone by.
“It’s going to be nice, because I haven’t been there for a while, in the changing rooms and things like that,’’ he added.
“To see all that, the pictures and so on will be nice. These guys are giving me the enjoyment. It’s been great seeing the players, ex-players and people enjoying it.
“You get to really appreciate it because you don’t know if you are going to get back there again.’’
While a player of course, victory at Twickenham for Ojomoh was almost a pre-requisite – and while there is an undeniable fairytale element to Trowbridge’s trip to headquarters, those competitive fires remain undiminished.
“We’re not going there to be tourists, we’re going there to win,’ he added, of Sunday’s match-up against Staffordshire’s Leek.
“We’ll enjoy the whole experience a lot more if we win. There’s nothing worse than seeing another team getting the cup.
"If anything, at this stage of the season, it’s just going through rhythms really. It’s all up in your head and actually, in many ways, less is more.
“Enjoy the experience, the pressure is off so enjoy the build-up and everything.’’
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