Army Head Coach 'Confident' Of Winning Back Inter Services Title

The Army had held on to the trophy for 36 years before the Navy won the 2018 Inter Services Championship.


The UKAF Championship trophy will be returning to Army hands in 2019 according to the team’s “confident” Head Coach.

Sergeant James Allen became the first Army boss to lose the title in 36 years when the Navy won the championship in 2018.

Since then, Sgt Allen has been working his team hard with the aim to win back the trophy that the Army have held on to for so long.

As far as the Army head coach is concerned, that is the main aim for 2019: "It’s all about that to be honest this year and this season," says Sgt Allen.

"For me, it’s just about getting that title back. Anything else is a bonus. The Navy have the title and they have to defend it on their own patch.

"I’m very confident. I want to win it back."

The team have just returned from their Christmas break ahead of a busy second half to the season, but Sgt Allen believes they will be ready.

He said: “It’s good to rest and recuperate during the festive period because it was a hard eight-week block. They had a bit of pre-training and pre-conditioning over Christmas, but not too much.

“This first week back has been pre-conditioning as well. The training has just been steady over Christmas and obviously, we have a big block ahead.

"We have the UKAF Championships and the Elite Championships to win. It’s all go."

British Army boxing coach Ben Stewart
The Army boxers have been working hard at training for a successful year.

The first half of the season has been aimed at preparation for the Army’s fighters, with a number of different tournaments to test them.

Sgt Allen said: “We started back in the 1st September and obviously, in that first block we only had one competition when went over to Eindhoven. It was successful trip.

"We didn’t get some of the results we wanted but there was some great experience learned.

“It pushed us on ready for that second block which was really busy.

"We were out in Catterick, Hereford, Croydon, Port Talbot as well as the Bristol show. We also boxed the Navy again too. It was a good block.

"It culminated with the round-robin tournament in Aldershot. It was all brilliant preparation for that tournament."

Inter-services boxing
The Army will be hoping to wrestle back the trophy they had held since 1982 until last year.

In the round-robin tournament, the Army fighters invited to Aldershot opposition from counties such as Liverpool as well as international opposition from Ukraine. It proved to be a big success for the military athletes.

"In the round-robin, we had 21 bouts in three days," Sgt Allen stated.

"We only lost three and won 16 bouts which unbelievable. It was a great weekend.

"It was a fantastic event to host to have other counties here and to have Ukrainian boxers over.

"It was a hell of an experience."

Into 2019, the preparation will continue including a possible rematch with the Ukrainian talents.

Sgt Allen said: “We’ve got a couple of training camps planned. Hopefully, on the 7th February, we will be going over to Ukraine.

"We brought them over here for the round-robin and hopefully, they are going to reciprocate that for a ten-day training camp at the Olympic Boxing Centre.

"While we are in Ukraine, we are hoping to get a competition over a two or three-day period."