Offaly boxing coach to lead African nation to the Olympics
Highly-respected Edenderry boxing coach Liam 'Morley' Brereton could take an unorthodox route to this year's Olympic Games via the Sierra Leone National Team.
Morley is an AIBA three-star coach and runs the hugely successful St Brigid's Boxing Club in Edenderry. He has joined up with the African nation's boxing team ahead of the Games in Tokyo this summer.
The first priority for Brereton before booking any flights to Japan will be to qualify a Sierra Leone fighter for the first time since the 2008 Games in Beijing.
They have a great chance of doing that with Deedra Chestnut who is based in Canada and has already trained under Brereton at his now famous all-female training camps in Edenderry. Fighters from all over the world, including Canada, have travelled to the North Offaly town over the last few years.
Other fighters hoping to compete will begin that process at an African Continental Qualifier in Senegal this week, Morley's first big exercise in his new role. World qualifiers in Paris will follow in May.
If Liam gets to a fighter's corner in the Olympics, he will continue his own family's affair with the Games. His own brother Martin fought in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow where he lost out to the eventual bronze medallist Jose Aguilar.
Speaking to the Offaly Express, Liam explained how Deedra Chestnut, a 60kg fighter, lives in Canada and has attended his camps.
"Through talking with the president of the Sierra Leone Boxing Federation, they asked me to work with Deedra [Chestnut] and come as coach to the African Qualifiers in Dakar as there lead coach.
"After the qualifiers then, we will set up training camps in Edenderry to either prepare for world qualifiers in Paris in May, or hopefully after next week, to prepare for Tokyo.
"Deedra would have the best chance of qualifying. Basically, they know I’m an AIBA three-star Olympic coach with international experience as coach with Ireland and have done the corners for Norway," he concluded.