OAKLEAF ABC’s long wait for an Ulster Senior champion is finally over and club coach, Eugene O’Kane Snr. believes Sean McGlinchey’s magnificent victory can be the start of a hugely successful era for the Brandywell club.
It was a proud moment for Oakleaf and its coaches when light-heavyweight, McGlinchey clinched the McAlinden Cup at Bellini’s, Newry.
It’s a conveyor belt of champions we’re hoping to get started here at the club. Hopefully this is the start of it.Eugene O’Kane
And O’Kane is confident that there are several more future senior champions within the club’s ranks with youngsters, Brett McGinty, Ryan Green and Francie Stokes all showing genuine promise and eager to follow in McGlinchey’s footsteps.
“It takes a long time to bring a senior boxer through,” said a delighted O’Kane. “Sean was hampered with injuries and illnesses.
“He had a couple of disappointments and was injured for the last two championships, so I’m glad he’s starting to get his rewards now. It’s a proud moment for the club and we have lot of boys coming through at the minute,” he added.
“Brett McGinty has done a lot of sparring with Sean at the club recently. And we have Ryan Green and Francie Stokes who are 17 and 18 years-old and they’ve won 17 titles between them.
“So they will be coming through in a year or two at senior level and hopefully they can follow suit.They are talented boys and it’s a good feather in the cap for the club. It’s a conveyor belt of champions we’re hoping to get started here at the club. Hopefully this is the start of it.”
2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, McGlinchey was awarded the ‘Boxer of the Championship’ for his scintillating display on the night and O’Kane believes it was a worthy honour.
“Sean dominated the first round. He lost the second round but stormed back in the third with body shots and the boy was nearly out on his feet. Sean was hitting him with big left hand hooks. It was the fight of the night!”