Palace boss Ollie reflects as he celebrates his 50th birthday
Ian Holloway celebrates his 50th birthday today but it is the challenges that still lay ahead of him at Crystal Palace that excite him most.
The Eagles manager has been involved in football since 1980 when he was an apprentice at Bristol Rovers. He went on to play more than 700 games as a professional and is fast approaching his 800th game as a manager having been in the hot seat at Rovers, QPR, Plymouth Argyle, Leicester, Blackpool and now Palace.
He enjoyed promotion at QPR and Blackpool but now finds himself in south London as he celebrates his milestone birthday believing there are many more footballing celebrations to come.
"That is shocking that I am 50. It is really shocking," he said.
"I went to see my boy the other day, it was his birthday and he was 25. I feel no different than when I was but, unfortunately, when I look in the mirror there is a different fella stood there.
"It creeps up on you and I still feel very young and very exhilarated by life.
"If Kevin Phillips can do what he can do at 39 as a footballer then surely he is a bit of dinosaur. So what can I do and how long is it before managers have to hang up their briefcase? Hopefully, I have a few more years to come in this wonderful job.
"I think my best years are ahead of me. I have had some brilliant times in my life and I am absolutely buzzing about what I am learning, what I have learned today, what I will learn tomorrow and what I can try and pass on to other people. I am in a fantastic place to be able to do it.
"I am so excited about what I want to bring to the club and a mindset for our young lads. I know how hard it was for me as I was growing up to generally believe I am good enough to make it.
"I saw the young lads here, the U9s and U11s playing Norwich. We were in training and I can't wait to get up here and get settled and go and see them over and over again and it is all about trying to get their mindset right and make them believe.
"I think they can all shine and I want to put the way I want to play on to them. The first team have got brilliant strengths and I am trying to galvanise them together, but the young lads I want to try develop them with a mindset where they do believe in themselves. I think that is so exciting.
"The older you get the more you can see the things behind you if you are clever enough to look behind. Even the bad things sometimes they teach you more than the good things and I just want to share that.
"All I am looking at is my life so far and I am a very fortunate person.
"I try and show that in my manner and how I am every single day and if Saturday was my last day on this planet, God willing, I would have had a belter even if we would have lost. I would still have enjoyed my team performance and my club and how they are. So how fortunate am I?"