TEAM NI: Alanna Audley-Murphy welcomes chance to compete in women’s event

Michaela Walsh and Alanna Audley-Murphy
Michaela Walsh and Alanna Audley-Murphy

Alanna Audley-Murphy is looking forward to taking part in her first ever Commonwealth Games and she is delighted that women can finally box at the Games.

“It is amazing to be going to the Games and it is a great honour for myself and Michaela Walsh to be the first women from Northern Ireland to box at the Commonwealth Games.

“It is great that women are allowed to box at the Games for the first time ever and Michaela and myself are pleased to be the standard bearers for women boxers from Northern Ireland,” added the Eastside ABC fighter.

And Audley-Murphy says training beside her male team-mates has brought her on leaps and bounds.

“It helps us training with the likes of Barnes and Conlan. They have won medals at the highest level and training with that calibre of fighter shows us where we have to be and there is no hiding place.

“And basically you train with the best because you want to be the best,” she added.

And Audley-Murphy says she wants to enjoy the whole Games experience.

“When we are boxing we will have our game faces on but I am looking forward to being in the athletes village and seeing all the famous athletes that you see on the television.

“It will also be nice to see a few more of the venues and the events, but I will be totally focused on my boxing,” she said.

Ballymena boxer Steven Donnelly is a man looking to repair the damage that was done in Delhi in 2010.

Four years Donnelly went to the Delhi Games as one of the biggest medal hopes for the Northern Ireland team.

But his Games ended in humiliation as he was sent home in disgrace after misbehaving.

Donnelly then went completely off the rails before making a fantastic comeback in the last few months by lifting the Ulster and Irish Senior Titles.

Now Donnelly heads to Glasgow 2014 hoping to lay the ghost of 2010 to rest.

“All that is in my head is winning gold in Glasgow. After what happened four years ago, I have to make up for that.

“I have worked very hard to get back to this level and now I want to bring that gold medal back to Ballymena.

“After the last Games my whole life went totally downhill. I was places I should not have been and looking back I was out of control.

“I have come a long way since then and I have still a long way to go. What happened in the past now motivates me to go to the Games and do the business,” he added.

Donnelly believes there is a good chance that this team can equal or better the three gold and two silver boxing medals they won in Delhi four years ago.

“This is a young talented team and we have the experience of guys like Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan who have all won medals at major championships.

“We are all going there to win medals and with hard work and a little bit of luck we will do that,” said Donnelly.