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English moves to Finn Valley club in his native Donegal

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Mark English. Photo: PA Wire

Mark English. Photo: PA Wire

PA

Mark English. Photo: PA Wire

Three-time European medallist Mark English has moved club and joined Finn Valley AC.

English has signed for Finn Valley in his native Donegal ahead of the 2020 outdoor season.

The 800m runner is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. English won a silver medal at the 2015 European Indoor Championships in Prague. In 2014 in Zurich, English won a bronze medal at the European Championships and at the European Indoor Championships in 2019 he also finished third.

"Finn Valley are a club that is very involved," English said. "I train with Paddy Brennan, who runs with Finn Valley, and I've had an association with others from the club, like Patsy McGonagle, Neil Martin and Kieran Carlin over the years.

"I'm excited to run with Finn Valley AC and to wear the vest. It's nice to be back in Donegal after eight years away and to be back in Donegal athletics in some small way again. I want to help inspire the young athletes coming up."

Banner English, who turns 27 next week, has been running under UCD AC's banner for the last eight years, recently winning the 14th Irish senior title of his career. He competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and holds the Irish Indoor 800m record (1:46.82), set in 2014.

He said: "I'm aware of my record in the sport and I see what others have achieved. I'm very proud of the three European medals. They aren't easy medals to win. I want to beef that up a bit now."

His move to Finn Valley sees him rekindle an association with McGonagle, the Finn Valley AC chairperson who was Irish Athletics team manager from 1992-2017.

English said: "Patsy was the Irish manager when I started off. He was a really inspiring figure. At European Team Championships, he would get the team all fired up.

"The best way I can describe it is that it was like being in a GAA dressing-room. It was nice to experience that passion, which is a rarity in athletics."

McGonagle has described English as being "the most talented athlete that we have ever produced in the north-west of Ireland".

Irish Independent