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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Dunne sees himself as someone who can help out wherever required.
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From the ring to the dressing room: Bernard Dunne explains his role with Dublin GAA
The former world boxing champion has been part of the Dublin backroom team for three years.

SHORTLY AFTER APPEARING on Sky Sports’ preview of last Saturday’s much-anticipated Frampton-Quigg fight, Bernard Dunne was asked on social media would he be attending in Manchester.

The former world champion is a highly-regarded boxing analyst these days and since retiring has carved out a career in media, adding his unrivalled knowledge and insight to coverage both at home and abroad.

But his commitments in retirement extend beyond boxing. Three years ago, Dunne was added to the Dublin backroom team by Jim Gavin as a performance and lifestyle coach.

His role was originally designed to help players maximise their potential and get the most from their ability.

He’s probably best described as a ‘soigneur’ – the term used in cycling for the staff member who does a bit of everything.

“It involves me being around the team and helping Jim in any way I can,” he explained.

“Whether it’s being a Maor Uisce, or kicking a couple of balls back to the players. It’s a holistic role really.

“I am a fan first and foremost so to get an opportunity to even be in the room with, I suppose, some of the best athletes in the country, one of the best teams in the country and to see them perform daily, weekly and at this stage hopefully yearly, it’s great to be a part of it.”

Dunne, who hung up his gloves in February 2010 after 30 professional fights, knew Gavin before assuming the role and had worked with him at U21 level.

Bernard Dunne Ryan Byrne / INPHO Dunne has been involved in the Dublin set-up for three years. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

When Gavin was appointed as senior coach, he approached Dunne and offered him the opportunity to come on board.

“I’m a fan, so any chance to get close to the Dubs I would take it,” the former super-bantamweight star said. ”I’d have been in Croke Park every week anyway, both for hurling and football, so to actually be pitchside now is an added bonus.”

Dunne is the first to admit he doesn’t have a GAA background and at the time of his appointment it was made clear he would have no involvement in team selection or tactics.

He’s purely there to help out in whatever form required -it just so happens he’s a former world champion.

“I played a bit of football in school but the closest thing you could say to me having a GAA background is knowing Martin Donnelly.

“I am a big supporter of the GAA, I love the sport, I love the ethos of it. I go to the Puc Fada every year, to the Cooley Mountains. I go and watch all the hurling and camogie games.”

Outside of his role with the All-Ireland champions, Dunne spends much of his time travelling around the country to speak in schools.

It’s something he’s ‘hugely passionate’ about and work which he sees as crucial in helping instil teenagers with self-confidence and belief.

So does his motivational speaking extend to the Dublin dressing room?

“Honestly, and without fudging the lines or you thinking I am not telling you anything, I literally will do whatever Jim tells me what to do, and that’s as simple as being a Maor Uisce, sitting in at a training sessions or kicking balls back out to boys that are kicking.”

The 36-year-old was speaking at the launch National Workplace Wellbeing Day and it’s another area which he has become heavily involved in post-boxing.

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Nat Workplace Wellbing Day Lch Bernard Dunne-14 Dunne helped launch National Workplace Wellbeing Day yesterday with Dublin footballer Sinead Goldrick.

Although he has no fight to prepare for or no strict regime to adhere to, Dunne remains in peak physical condition yet he is in awe of the level of athleticism in inter-county GAA.

“I got to rest between my training sessions,” he continued. “Boys have to go to work, have to go to college. These lads have made as many choices as I had to make in terms of being disciplined and dedicated to their sport.

“You look at some of the condition that the boys are in, their eating habits, how they look after their bodies, it’s all part of the game now and very much so and you can see the improvement in terms of the physicality and in terms of the skill level. I think it’s great to see.

“Sports science has become a huge part of sport nowadays. Before my Kiko Martinez (2007) fight I was doing the same things I was doing when I was 10 or 11. Post Kiko Martinez I brought in so much sports science into my training. My whole life changed.

“You have also got to remember these guys have got three All-Irelands in their back pocket. They have got a mentality of winning, which is huge.”

And that mentality has continued into 2016. Dublin have enjoyed a winning start to the league campaign, emerging victorious in all three of their outings so far – including Saturday’s defeat of Monaghan at GAA HQ.

As per usual, Dunne was running the touchline during that one and will do so again this weekend when Dublin welcome Cork to the capital.

As he referred to in answering the question posed to him on social media last weekend, his priorities lie outside of boxing nowadays – his role with the Dubs is much more than a job.

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