The defending Mid-Solent League champions enter a new era on Tuesday when they lift the curtain of their first HPL Division 1 campaign against Denmead at Front Lawn (8:10 p.m.).
Ogilvie gave food for thought this weekend when Harvest lost 4-1 to US Reserves Portsmouth in their final friendly, also at Front Lawn.
It was the first time his team had lost a game – competitive or friendly – since March 2019.
“It could have been seven or eight, we were flattered by the score,” said Ogilvie.
“The United States were very good, they were young, fast, well trained, they listened to what their manager was telling them.
“Their average age must have been around 19, whereas we later calculated that the combined age of our team was 572!
“But the United States was brave and didn’t squint on any of the tackles we threw.
“I wouldn’t say we intimidate teams, but every team we’ve beaten has outperformed them, but we weren’t up to the pace this time around.
“I have a lot of respect for Glenn Turnbull and Lee Mold in the United States. They are the benchmark for me – I want our team to be as fit, organized and respectful as their teams. ‘
In addition to losing the game, Harvest also suffered two significant injuries.
Skipper Jake Daniels will be out for more than a month with a hip injury, while new center-half Mitch Cowan has sustained a groin injury.
But Harvest will always have an experienced core about them against Denmead.
Former Hawks and Moneyfields midfielder Brad Fairweather, 36, will make his competitive debut – as will former Petersfield defenseman Keith Martin, 40. Steve Harris, 37, is also on the team.
Bobby Read, who won consolation against the United States, came from Meon Milton – joining former colleague Harry Byrne – while Charlie Deluchi and striker Dan Anders are also new faces.
“It’s a big game,” Ogilvie said. “It will be an indication of where we are at. “
Denmead was at the top of the table when last season was interrupted, although they finished second behind Moneyfields Reserves on a points-per-game methodology.
In a fine first season at HPL level, after moving from the Meon Valley Sunday League, Denmead also reached the semi-finals of the HPL Cup and welcomes Moneyfields next Tuesday in a delayed quarter-final of the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
Paul Goddard’s men retained this form in the preseason, beating four teams in the senior HPL division – Clanfield (3-0), Liss (3-2), Lyndhurst (4-2) and Chamberlayne (3-1) – in friendly action.
“I respect that Moneyfields will be the favorites,” said Ogilvie, “but internally I told my guys I wanted to win the championship.
‘I have to believe it; if i don’t believe it, how am i going to make my players believe it?
“I’ve been told Moneyfields will come down to watch so there will be three teams there who all want to win the league this season – that’s great for the Portsmouth area.”
US Portsmouth scored thanks to Brodie Spencer (2, including a penalty), Josh Hazell and Luke Richards.
The United States gave minutes to first-team players such as former Portchester midfielder Spencer, Hazell and Sean Snelling who were not involved in the 2-0 win at Cowes the night before. .
USA First Team boss Turnbull said: “I got a text from Ray (Ogilvie) on Sunday saying how impressed he was with our team. It was good, he didn’t have to do that. .
“That’s the ethos that we try to install – we’re not just a team, we’re a club – and it’s good when you get feedback like that.”