Irish amateur boxers are indeed being prepared well for the forthcoming final European qualifier in Turkey as a 13-strong Irish Elite squad flew out to Germany today to begin a training camp in Hennef.
Just over a week ago the squad completed a tough camp with the Irish Army at The Curragh.
London 2012 Olympians Michael Conlan, John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill have been included in the Irish panel.
Current Elite champions Paddy Barnes, Michael McDonagh, Ross Hickey, Adam Nolan, Joe Ward, Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan are also included.
Barring injury the above seven will represent Ireland at that final Olympic qualifier for European male boxers in Trabzon, Turkey in April.
Elite female champions Ceire Smith and Sinead Kavanagh will also travel to Germany, along with Steven Ward, a silver medal winner for Northern Ireland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Ward doubles up at heavyweight with Tommy McCarthy.
Ireland will train and spar with the host nation, Brazil, Mongolia and Moldova in Hennef before competing in the Chemistry Cup Multi-Nations which gloves off in Halle, Germany on March 13.
The squad, have one final training camp in the Ukraine late in March before heading directly to Trabzon for the qualifiers for the XXX Olympiad.
Ireland head coach Billy Walsh believes that the Germany training camp and the Chemistry Cup tournament will give the Irish squad the opportunity to build on the work they began at the Curragh.
“It’s a good place to get focused. It’s all part of our preparations for the qualifiers. We’re looking to get our preparations right for Trabzon,” he said.
“The team will also compete in the Chemistry Cup which should be very competitive this year. We had a very productive training camp at the Curragh and we will be looking to build on that in Germany in the build up to the Olympic qualifiers.”
Katie Taylor, who had two fine wins at the weekend in Bray, is expected to join the team for the Ukraine camp though she is also likely to be in action in Ireland before then with two internationals against The Netherlands planned for Dublin’s National Stadium and for Cavan in March.
Irish squad for training camp Hennef, Germany
49Kg: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
51Kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan)
52Kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco)
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan)
60Kg: Michael McDonagh (St Mary’s)
64Kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon)
69Kg: Adam Nolan (Bray)
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
75Kg: Sinead Kavanagh (Drimnagh)
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate)
91Kg: Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett)
91Kg: Steven Ward (Monkstown)
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel)
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Jimmy Halpin, Eddie Bolger
Physio: Conor McCarthy
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary