Portadown-born Niall Currie can boast a double-figure tally of honours but will experience a senior cup final for the first time as manager on February 13.
Currie was the off-the-field mastermind behind Ards’ dramatic penalty shoot-out semi-final success over top-flight Coleraine on Tuesday to set up a League Cup showdown with holders Cliftonville.
It will mark another highlight in Currie’s management career that started around a decade ago with Annagh United before a string of silverware at Loughgall.
Currie placed the praise on his players.
“It was a very proud moment for me but it all comes down to the players,” said Currie. “Everyone can look forward to the final now and what should be a great day for the club.
“Jay Willis has been with me for a long time and I have a brilliant backroom team, plus great support from the chairman.
“To get a Championship club to the final is wonderful for everyone who has worked so hard.”