Collins fancies Cuala to provide Slaughtneil knock-out

24 February 2017

Cuala's Mark Schutte celebrates.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Boxing trainer Paschal Collins says he expects Cuala to keep things to script in Saturday’s All-Ireland club senior hurling championship semi-final against Slaughtneil.

The Dublin champions are ranked as colossal favourites at 1/8 to end the Derry club’s dream of a historic All-Ireland club treble and Collins, who is a brother of two-weight world champion Steve, has been brought in by manager Mattie Kenny in recent weeks to help with their mental strength ahead of the Athletic Grounds showdown.

“They wanted me to come in and work on their mindset and their concentration and focus for every minute of the game,” Collins told the Irish Examiner.

“Mattie wanted me to instil in them the idea that if you lose focus for even one second in a fight you can get knocked out and he wanted me to work on their focus to think like that during a match.

“Realistically, they’re probably favourites going into this game, but Mattie wants them to be mentally tough so in the last 10 minutes — or as I said, ‘the championship rounds’. So no matter what’s thrown at them, they’re ready for it and they can get through it and keep their focus too.”

On specific details of the training, he added: “I was working with them once a week in the gym. I had them doing body sparring, boxing training and it really toughened them up. They’re tough lads.

“Mattie Kenny is open-minded to everything that can help him. He’s very positive but he does everything right.”

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