Newly weds Billy McClean and Antionette Faye

Irish coach Billy McClean and Antionette Faye, a member of the IABA Council, answered a bell of a different variety recently – a wedding bell as opposed to a ringside bell!

The newly weds returned home from their honeymoon today, with Billy McClean hailing the performances of Team Ireland at the European Youth Championships in Kolobrzeg, Poland.

Stephen McKenna, Willie Donoghue, James McGivern, Michael Nevin and John Joyce are all through to the semi-finals in Kolobrzeg and are all guaranteed at least bronze.

“I am immensely proud of their performances. It’s the best weeding present we could ever have,” said Billy McClean.

McClean has coached the Irish team in Poland over the last number of years, working their corners and watching them grow in stature from boys to young men in various World, European and multi-nations tournaments.

“They are a fantastic bunch. Win or lose they always do their country proud. Our clubs and club coaches deserve enormous praise here. They bring us unpolished diamonds and we prepare them for international competition. The clubs and club coaches are an integral part of the success story of Irish boxing.

“We put together a very strong seven-week training camp for the team going into the European Youths and they’ve carried it out to the letter. The work that John Conlan has done has been absolutely astronomical, as is the work of our entire coaching in Poland

“Once again this week our boys are right in the mix of things against the best in the world. I’m very proud and very happy to see that.”

The IABA extends its very best wishes to the newly weds.