Richard Fidler talks sport with Toni Minichiello

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Toni Minichiello, aged 45, is the coach of Olympic Games poster girl Jessica Ennis. He also coaches a number of promising local athletes including the former winner of the BBC programme Born to Win, Louise Bloor. Ennis will defend her World Indoor pentathlon title next month in Istanbul.

What have you been doing today?

Coaching athletics at the EIS from 9.30am to 7.30pm.

Who is your inspiration and why ?

So many, anyone who when they’ve been told they ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ goes and achieves it anyway.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

Sheffield United player Tony Currie as his first name was the same as mine and like any kid I wanted to be a professional footballer.

What’s your favourite other sport ?

Basketball, played at school and played local league, still play today... well ish!

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

Michael Vaughan, Jess won’t let me have her number!

When was the last time you cried?

At my wedding, I was divorced four years later, maybe it was a premonition.

Who or what are you most proud of?

Louise Bloor’s 200 metres silver medal at this year’s National IndoorChampionships.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

When someone referred to me as being “just a lucky coach” I knew I must be doing something right.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

My moleskin notebook.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

Inter County U19 Basketball Final, just didn’t want to mess up... I didn’t, we won, easy.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I don’t doubt myself, but always reflect on if I could do it better.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

A great way of communicating and a fun way of keeping in touch.

How do you relax away from sport ?

I read a lot of biographies, and I love watching old films.

Where was your last holiday - and would you go again ?

I haven’t had holiday for years, so I might look at taking one after the Olympic Games.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite - if not who provides that favourite meal?

Not a good cook; I’ve no patience. So it will have to be my mum’s lasagne.

What was the last book you read?

Tough Without a Gun, The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphery Bogart - Stefan Kanfer.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

Probably still working as a civil servant at the Jobcentreplus in Sheffield, you’d never stop me coaching though.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

Must be a slow day for sports news! Or is it because I wave my hands about at Jessica Ennis when she competes?

What’s your favourite TV programme?

Castle - on the Alibi Channel.