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Ireland shot itself in foot over boxing coach

Published 25/08/2016

As our Olympic boxers did not perform along expected lines in Brazil in recent weeks, nobody is talking about "the elephant in the room''.

Billy Walsh, the most successful boxing coach and manager Ireland has ever produced, was let go by the boxing powers-that-be. Since then preparation and results have gone downhill.

Great managers get the best talent available to them on to the field of play or into the boxing ring and devise and construct a gameplan that is fully explained and easy to understand by all concerned.

They also set very high standards of behaviour and a code of practice that is sacrosanct and must be adhered to by everybody. Any competitor who does not play by the rules is immediately removed for the good of the rest of the group.

Preparation is always of a high standard and no member of the group is under any illusion as to what is required. This helps to get the very best out of each member of the team.

This does not appear to have been the case in the lead-up to the games in Rio. Hence the lack of success.

In the case of Irish boxing, not reappointing Billy Walsh as manager of the Irish Olympic boxing team will be seen as shooting themselves in the foot and the biggest own-goal in the history of sport here.

TOM TOWEY

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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