CHRISTOPHER O'Reilly's long anticipated place in the Ireland team for the forthcoming European Championships was confirmed last Friday night and the Bracken boxer is bound for Russia in the first week of October.
The tournament takes place in Anapa, a barren town some 800km from Moscow where, three years ago, Gerard Whitehouse put the Balbriggan club on the map by winning a bronze medal, and club coach Kieran O'Neill hopes that will be a good omen for the 14-year-old. 'Christopher is getting a better chance than Gerard because it looks like they are going for a two-week training camp prior to the championships, and it's a great thing to be able to say about a boy from Balbriggan that he is capable of doing something out there. 'I have seen the Kenny Egans and Katie Taylors when they were his age and Christopher is a phenomenal talent - as good as anyone and better than most. And pound for pound at his age, he is the best boxer in the Irish team, and I think a medal is within his grasp.' Christopher (pictured below) was scheduled to box Brian Grace from the Callan club in the Special Schoolboy Competition 62kg final last Friday night, but his opponent failed to turn up for the weighin and a walkover was handed to the Bracken ace. Meanwhile, Bracken have confirmed that a top French team from Paris will pay a return visit to Balbriggan for a show on October 12th in the Milestone Inn. France are reeling from their boxers winning no medals at an Olympic Games for the first time and see this trip as the beginning of their development programme for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. Whitehouse, Shane Egan, Conor Duffy and Chloe Gray are likely to be on the bill for the host club.