Sonny’s out to shine as he’s given England call

Sonny Driscoll, centre, with Heart of Portsmouth coaches Dave Johnston, left, and Q Shillingford
Sonny Driscoll, centre, with Heart of Portsmouth coaches Dave Johnston, left, and Q Shillingford
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SONNY DRISCOLL has been backed to deliver after he answered England’s call.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) has been given a late selection to box at the Tri-Nation’s Championships.

The 15-year-old travels north of the border to take on the top Scottish and Welsh talent across the weekend.

That’s after Driscoll’s impressive run to the semi-finals of the England Boxing National Junior Championships earlier this year.

Now the chance has arrived to box for his country, and the Cowplain School pupil has been backed to grab the opportunity with both hands.

HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, sees no reason why the Wecock boxer can’t go all the way at 54kg.

He said: ‘Sonny lost on a split decision in the semi-finals of the champion-ships and boxed really well.

‘He’s been training hard and his performances have been good this season.

‘So there’s no reason really why he shouldn’t be able to come back with a gold.’

Driscoll’s call-up continues a bright period for HOP after Kerry Davis recently emerged victorious at the National Elite Championships.

She is now due to compete in the senior version of the came competition next month.

Shllingford added: ‘It’s good that we’ve got Sonny boxing in this with Kerry Davis to come boxing in the senior competition next month. It’s a great time for the club.’

Meanwhile, HOP are celebrating a coaching coup after Dave Johnston was elevated to the England set-up.

Johnston will become part of the national set-up after making impressive progress at HOP in recent years.

The head junior coach will take on a role as support coach, which Shillingford believes is reward for his commitment to the sport.

‘It’s really good news for Dave and he really deserves it,’ Shillingford added.

‘He will be warming lads up, handing up in the corner and learning the ropes with England. Dave is also a Hampshire coach who’s been with us for about three years.

‘It’s not only about the development of boxers like Sonny but also the coaches like Dave.’

– JORDAN CROSS