Clonard pair for Russia, with gloves
IT has already been a year to remember for Clonard's Conor Quinn and Gerard French, but it just got a whole lot better after the two teenagers were selected for the Ireland squad that heads to Russia for the European Junior Championships next month.
Fifteen-year-old Quinn and French (16) (both pictured, right) have seen off all-comers at Antrim, Ulster and at national level already this year, and must have impressed Irish junior and youth development coach Billy McClean at the box-offs in Dublin at the weekend.
Quinn - who already has some international experience having fought for Ireland at the European Schoolboy Championships two
years ago - got the better of Ryston's Calvin Turner at the National Stadium to book his seat on the plane, while French saw off the highly-rated Sean Reilly (Ardagh) to secure his spot.
The Irish team fly to Russia on October 31 for a training camp before the Euros get under way in Anapa from November 8-17 - and they will be able to count on plenty of support coming from their club.
The pair's selection is a huge boost for Clonard Boxing Club, according to coach Paddy Graham, and comes on the back of Sean Og Deeds winning an Antrim Intermediate title earlier in the month.
The future looks bright, as Graham says: "To have two lads from our club picked to represent Ireland, it's just brilliant for the club. It'll give the lads a real confidence boost.
"They're both great kids, great trainers, you wouldn't have a bother with them at all. They've both been with us since they were seven and eight years of age. They spar together all the time, so when Billy McClean phoned to tell me they'd both been picked, I was delighted.
"It would have been hard to take if one had been picked and the other hadn't, so it's great that they both got the nod."
On Deeds's recent victory at the Antrim intermediates, Graham continued: "That was another great boost for us because we're not a massive club, so to have these kind of successes gives everybody a lift.
"A lot of the kids have been with us a long time and the hard work of the likes of myself, my father Paddy Graham senior, my brother Peter and Seamus Deeds senior is hopefully starting to pay off."