Coach Profile

Celtic Tigers Freestyle Wrestling, established in 2015, is the newest wrestling club affiliated with the sixty years old Irish Amateur Wrestling Association (IAWA). The club is the brainchild of Coach Zhivko Stoyanov who has thirty years of career on the wrestling mat as a top level international competitor for Republic of Bulgaria and wrestling coach at junior and senior level.
Coach Zhivko Stoyanov started wrestling at age ten as an after school activity. Two years later he successfully passed an entry exam and enrolled in the “Todor Kableshkov” Sports School of district Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. It was at that time when he fell in love with the sport and decided to pursue it as a lifelong career. Due to sports and academic achievements, he then was selected and transferred to the Central Sports School “Olympic Hopes”, Sofia, where he obtained his leaving certificate and grew as an athlete under the tutelage of one of Bulgaria’s most prominent wrestling coaches Ivan Tsochev (who later on became his coach in the Bulgarian Freestyle Wrestling Squad). Acceptance in the National Sports Academy “Vasil Levski” Sofia followed as a natural progression as well as Bachelor Degree in Freestyle Wrestling Coaching and Physical Education Teaching. At that time, under the guidance of coach Ognian Makaveev, Zhivko Stoyanov progressed to become a Junior Bulgarian Champion in category 62kg in year 1994 and was selected to join the Senior Bulgarian Freestyle Wrestling Squad in 1995. The same year he competed in the World Junior Championship in Tehran, Iran and was ranked 10th in the world. After graduating from the university, Zhivko competed for one of the two main Bulgarian clubs “CSKA Sofia” and became a Senior Bulgarian Champion in category 58kg in year 1998. Following that he was offered coaching position of the junior wrestling team in the other main club “Levski Sofia” as well as the opportunity to compete for the club on senior level. Zhivko Stoyanov was employed in “Levski Sofia” until year 2000 when he moved to UK and coached Freestyle Wrestling in Tokei Club and Kensington Club, London. While in UK, in year 2002 he became a British Champion in category 66kg until a move to Ireland led to a lifetime decision to settle in the country and make it a permanent home.
In year 2005 Zhivko obtained a qualification for Level Two Wrestling Coach as part of the National Coaching Development Programme held in the National Coaching and Training Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland.
For the past fourteen years Zhivko Stoyanov has been coaching in various IAWA clubs, primarily located in Dublin, as well as facilitating wrestling training camps and classes for universities and colleges such as: UCD, Ballymun Comprehensive, Larkin , St Mary’s and St Kevin community colleges; martial arts clubs: judo and jiu-jitsu clubs in Cork, Galway and Dublin and rugby clubs in the Dublin area, including running a wrestling and circuit training class for Leinster Rugby in year 2006.
Coach Zhivko Stoyanov’s ambition is to build a strong local club structure that could serve as a trampoline for further progression of young people interested to benefit from his skill and experience. His vision is to popularise the Freestyle Wrestling in Ireland by dedicating his time and expertise to sports enthusiasts of all ages who would like to expand their fitness and lifestyle horizons.