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‘It’s now or never’ – Killarney Celtic boss with rallying cry ahead of crunch FAI tie



FAI Junior Cup: Quarter-Final
Killarney Celtic v Fairview Rangers
Saturday at 5pm
Celtic Park


Ahead of Saturday’s huge quarter-final clash with Fairview of Limerick, Celtic manager Brian Spillane has called on his senior players to seize what could well be their final opportunity to win the coveted FAI Junior Cup.

The Celts have been knocking on the door for a number of years now but they have been unable to secure the holy grail, coming closest in 2017 when they reached the semi-final before being cruelly knocked out by Sheriff YC on penalties.

With a number of key players possibly heading towards retirement, Spillane believes that it’s do or die for his talented bunch of footballers.

“I reckon the likes of Smiley (John McDonagh), Gary Keane and Stevie Mahony will probably finish after this year so for those players, and even for players who might have a few years to go, it’s now or never for them if they want to win a national title or to win something outside of Kerry,” Spillane told the Killarney Advertiser. “I think they realise that too.

“With all that’s going on with COVID, fellas realise the importance of the game and they’re just happy to have a crack at it. They’re at home in the quarters, they’ve been training well and there’s no pressure on them really because a lot of people fancy Fairview. If they do manage to win then they’re at home in the semi-finals (versus Athenry or Rush) so they have two home games to get to an All-Ireland final.

“You couldn’t ask for much more than that.”

The season should, of course, be finished with by now but the completion of Ireland’s showpiece junior soccer competition was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Celtic’s manager is glad to be back in the swing of things and he says he is hopeful that the time off has served his squad well.

“We stuck to the guidelines but once we got any kind of green light at all we went at it,” he said. “We went up in groups of four, and then team training when we were allowed. We have 12 sessions and two games under our belt so we’re as ready now as we’ll ever be. The squad is fully fit. Wayne Sparling was struggling for a few weeks but he’s back now. Everyone’s in good shape and the competition for places is great.

“I think the break actually did us good because we had played a lot of games. Hopefully the time off will favour us; the lads seem fresh and ready to go.”


Last weekend, Celtic defeated Killorglin 5-2 in the Greyhound Bar KO Cup with a slightly weakened side as Wayne Sparling, Adam O’Rourke, Stephen McCarthy and Lee Downing were all rested. All four are expected to return to the starting lineup for the match against Fairview, a strong side who are likely to provide the hosts with their toughest test of the season to date.

“Fairview will be a huge challenge,” Spillane admitted. “I think they’re probably the best team left in the competition. They have five fellas coming back from League of Ireland so their squad is very strong. I went up to watch them twice before the lockdown and they looked very solid. They play very direct, like a League of Ireland team, and they have a lot of quality. They don’t score a lot but they don’t concede anything either.

“With these cup games, it’s the team that makes the least amount of mistakes that will win. A lot of these games are decided on set pieces. Fairview have a similar shape to ourselves so it’ll be about winning our own battles.”

Another challenge that the club are facing is the tricky business of allocating tickets for the big match. Only 200 people (including players, management and match officials) will be allowed to enter the grounds on Saturday evening, which means a lot of local supporters will be left out in the cold.

“It’s very tough to be honest,” Spillane said. “You have players, management, media, referees and referees assessors, so then we’re left with 100 or 110 tickets. We decided to give Fairview 25% of that, and they’re allocating their percentage between committee and sub-committee members. That means they won’t have any supporters at the game.

“We’ll have 75-85 supporters and we said we’d give the tickets to the people who went to our away matches up in Buncranna and Crettyard. Even when we get knocked out of these competitions, these are the people who’ll be at the next league game.”

The game will also be streamed live on the club’s Facebook page for those who are unable to attend.


There’s no denying that the national and provincial tournaments have been at the top of Celtic’s agenda in recent times and the Celtic boss believes that the significance of reaching another FAI Junior Cup semi-final cannot be understated.

“It’d be huge for the club. I think players need to be tested and I don’t think they’re tested in the Kerry District League. The minute I went into management I wanted to make a beeline for the Munster Junior Cup and the FAI Junior Cup. In Kerry, you’re asking fellas to train two or three times a week and you’ve no fixture list. There’s no structure. It’s very hard to turn around and tell players that they might have no game for three weeks… It’s hard to motivate them.

“With the FAI and the Munster competitions, the dates are fixed so it’s easier to make plans and have that structure. They know when they’re playing and that’s what the players are calling out for.”

And in fairness to them, Celtic’s players have thrived at this level. All that’s left for them now is to make that extra step, starting with Fairview tomorrow evening. Spillane thinks that his lads are good to go.

“We have a fully fit squad, we’re ready and we’ve had a good bit of experience through the last few years. We’re looking forward to it big time.”

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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.




By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.


One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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