Thirty one nations – including Ireland – are in the hat to battle it out at the European U/22 Championships in Romania. Boxing begins next Tuesday in Brăila.
Ireland are currently training at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown, Dublin.The squad wind up their camp on Thursday under coaches Zaur Antia, Dmitry Dimitruck and Jimmy Halpin and leave for Romania early next Monday morning.
Down lightweight Dylan Duffy is eager to impress.
“Other than the senior team, not too many others have had the chance to train with Zaur so it’s a big opportunity for me, for all of us,” the 20-year-old Pegasus BC stand out told the Irish News.
“I’m just soaking everything up, trying to learn off him and there’s guys who have boxed at major tournaments – the likes of Jordan Moore and Kurt Walker – so it’s good to have guys like that about who have a bit of experience behind them.”
The tournament is making a return after a half-decade absence following the inaugural European U/22s in 2012 in Russia. Jason Quigley and Hugh Myers claimed gold and silver, Ireland’s only medals so far at this level, in Kaliningrad five years ago.
The Boys in Green will be aiming to add to that total by the banks of the Danube next week, according to Duffy.
“I’m not apprehensive about it at all, it’s an experience that can only help my career so I’m looking forward to it,” he added.
“I’ve been training six weeks down there with Zaur and, okay it’s a short amount of time, but I can feel myself picking up new things I maybe wouldn’t have picked up on before. You just want to take as much of it on board as you can.”
Irish squad European U/22 Championships Brăila, Romania March 13th/22nd
49kg Darryl Moran (Illies GG)
52kg Jordan Moore (Glasnevin)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
60kg Dylan Duffy (Pegasus)
64kg Keith Flavin (Paulstown)
69kg Eugene McKeever (Holy Family Drogheda)
75kg Kelyn Cassidy (Saviours Crystal)
81kg Brian Kennedy (St Marys Daingean)
91kg Geoffrey Kavanagh (Glasnevin)
91+kg Thomas Carty (Glasnevin)
Team Manager: Paddy Osbourne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Dmitry Dimitruck, Jimmy Halpin
R&J: Philip Rooney