It was a typically murky and miserable Tuesday evening in February 2011 when Oran Kearney took charge of his first game as Coleraine manager.
The Ballymoney native, who was cutting his managerial gnashers at Limavady United, was the man the Bannsiders wanted to revive their fortunes as the team languished perilously close to the lower reaches of the league.
David Platt's services were dispensed with and Kearney took over a team desperately short of confidence, quality, points and, indeed, numbers as they were down to the bare bones.
So first up, the small task of an away visit to their neighbours from down the A26, Ballymena United. It was far from a classic, but for Kearney, who rose to prominence as a galloping midfielder for the Braidmen after spells with his hometown club, Ballymoney United and Moyola Park, it was no surprise he would come back to haunt his former employers again.
It wasn't the first time. After being a favourite at Warden Street for several seasons he was signed by David Jeffrey at Linfield and went on to have incredible success in his four seasons there, including an unerring knack for scoring big goals against the Sky Blues.
There were huge highs at Windsor Park, a key member of the Clean Sweep side and plenty of call to have to nip out for a new tin of Brasso at regular intervals.
But he had some horrendous luck with injuries meaning that at the desperately young footballing age of 30 he was forced to call it a day.
Announcing his retirement in 2009, he had a refreshingly positive attitude for a man who had made the hardest decision of his footballing career.
"I could look at this negatively and say I've been robbed, in that I should have or am owed another five years. That's life, however. These things happen," he told the Linfield website.
"Given the choice, I wouldn't change a thing. Winning medals means everything and I'd rather retire at 30 with all my medals than play till the age of 40 for no medals. I've no regrets whatsoever."
Fast forward 10 years and much water has passed under the Bann Bridge since swapping marauding runs for hopping up and down on the touchline, but wouldn't you know the circle would be completed perfectly on another grim February evening by the Braid.
Kyle McVey was the unlikely goalscoring hero in that 2011 clash, and a decade on an even more surprising match-winner popped up in the shape of Lyndon Kane, a player very much in the mould of his manager. Well, apart from the goals.
Kane's superb strike was just his second league goal for the club in a career, like that of his boss, blighted by serious injuries, but, touch wood, he and his manager can now just focus on making the most of their time on the pitch.
Kane, who celebrated his 24th birthday this week, was a boyhood fan of the club he skippered on Tuesday night and I don't know if he was there for Kearney's debut night but I'm pretty sure the then 13-year-old let out a piercing teenage cheer that would have dolphins panicking when McVey slotted home that penalty.
I remember congregating with the other unwashed reporting hordes in the tunnel at the Showgrounds after that game to grab a few words with Oran after his fairytale start, where his gamble to play a defender called Marc Mukendi in attack showed right from the off that he wasn't afraid to take a few risks.
Great judgment or was it luck, the man himself wasn't sure that night.
"It was easy because I only had 11 players and difficult as to how I arrange them," he said.
"As I said to one of the boys before, if you're signed by this club you're a member of this club, and I don't care who's injured or not, it's about who's here now. If you're at this club don't be a passenger and step up to the mark."
And it is that sentence that chimes true to this day. He has turned the Bannsiders from perennial strugglers to challengers, fighting well above their weight in a division that is getting more and more top-heavy by the season with the emergence of full-time teams.
It hasn't all been plain-sailing, of course. The initial success of guiding them up the table and an impressive fourth place finish in 2013 was replaced by a desperate run of form in the winter of the following campaign.
A nine-match losing streak was ended with a win over bottom side Ards, and it was during that run that Kearney admitted that he had considered calling it a day with rising discontent in the stands.
"I am delighted for the players. They have been through a tough time but it will stand them in good stead for the future," he said after that win in January 2014.
"Losing to Warrenpoint was a low point for me, and I did go home that night and wonder if stepping aside would allow a fresh voice and fresh impetus."
Fast forward a month and Oran was putting a nice piece of Belleek on the mantelpiece after five wins on the bounce silenced the doubters and yet again showed the wonderful fickle nature of the game we love.
It also showed the merit in having a chairman who had the courage not to press the panic button, and Colin McKendry's trust in his manager has been rewarded in spades over the years.
"I'm just thankful Colin didn't listen to the negativity that was floating around our club at the time, otherwise I wouldn't be picking up this award," said Kearney at the time.
"As frustrating as it was, I did speak to him after a defeat by Warrenpoint. But I hadn't even the door closed when he told me 'don't go there'."
Those struggles are largely forgotten now. Coleraine have become major players in the local game and, after a shaky start this time around, are now flying high thanks to that win over the old enemy on Tuesday night.
It takes them fourth on goal difference with Crusaders and hopefully this season they will get to finish the job on the pitch and not have the chance of glory taken away from them by the powers-that-be.
But 'what-if' has rarely been part of the Kearney ethos. Even when he was injured, rather than languish feeling sorry for himself he took his coaching badges meaning that when he did have to hang up his boots, he could stay in the game he loves.
It is in his DNA. A P.E. teacher at Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle, he comes from a family steeped in sport in Ballymoney. His two brothers, Gareth and Liam, both played for their hometown team, while sisters Aine and Olivia have been part of the success story of the local hockey side.
He is one of the nicest men you could ever wish to meet, but there is a steely resolve that earned him a crack at what he craves - full-time football.
It was a roller coaster ride at St. Mirren, 10 months of ups and downs, and ultimately keeping the Paisley side in the Scottish Premiership, but in the blink of an eye it was gone.
But what he did in that short time didn't go unnoticed and it is no surprise that when vacancies crop up in Scotland, his name is now usually in the hat.
Speaking this month in a great interview on Coleraine TV (I am an avid viewer) he succinctly summed up his mindset.
"I remember playing for Ballymoney and Moyola Park and looking on with envy every Saturday after the match, watching the goals on Final Score in the clubhouse and wanting a taste of that," he said.
"So when you go into management, why should it be any different? You tell the players in the changing room to reach for the stars and to push as high as you can, so I think it's important that I do that as well.
"I think the key thing is you want to see progression, and I hope as a manager from my early days, and tough days, that I have learnt a lot. The experience in Scotland was worth four or five years of experience in relation to the trauma I had to go through to keep them up. All those experiences are good and can be banked."
Medals aplenty as a player, the Coleraine trophy cabinet being brought back to life, an incredible European success and his second coming as Bannsiders boss taking shape, the next decade is one to look forward to.
Where it may take him and the Coleraine roller coaster remains to be seen, but let's enjoy the ride.