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Lakers coach: This club should be in the Super League – that’s the goal

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Ahead of next weekend’s National League opener, Adam Moynihan chats to Scotts Lakers head coach Shane McCarthy about the season ahead

 

The season tips off next weekend away to the Limerick Celtics. What’s the mood like in the camp?

It’s a mood of excitement at the moment. The boys are getting sick of looking at each other at training so they’re looking forward to seeing someone else on the court against them. They’re all excited.

 

The club have made a number of new signings. Are you happy with the business you’ve done over the summer?

Yeah, really happy. Victor Martínez, our Spanish guy, is only 20 and the fans are going to love him. He’s a serious talent. He comes from a professional background in Spain. Toby (Christensen) picked up a knock in his third session with us but he has pedigree. He had seven years in the States. And Aaron (Jackson) is talented, he’s exciting and he’s tough. I think he’s going to be a fan favourite.

 

Aaron has just arrived from the States, is that right?

He only got into the country last Friday morning. He travelled for 26 or 27 hours and we told him he didn’t need to train Friday evening, but he trained. He was anxious to get started.

 

Which local players are likely to feature this season?

We obviously have Mark Greene. I played with him last season and he really shocked me; I didn’t think he was as good as he is! Andy Fitzgerald is big and he’s going to have a major role to play. Séamus Brosnan is tough and he’ll have a huge role as well.

 

You’ve also brought in a couple of Irish players…

Yeah we’ve signed Carlton Cuff from Blue Demons. He was one of the best defenders in the Super League so he’s going to bring that defensive mindset down to Killarney. Brian O’Neill is another one. I played with Brian for years and he’s a deadeye three-point shooter. We played a preseason game last week and it was Brian’s first game in 12 months. He had 18 points, all threes.

We’re a lot deeper this year than we were last year.

 

As you mentioned there, you were playing up until last season. Is this your first job as a head coach?

Yeah, it’s my first time as a head coach - it’s my first year not playing at all. I was adamant that I just wanted to coach this year. I’ve been an assistant in the Super League with Blue Demons and I was assistant player/coach last year. So look, I’m excited about it.

 

What are the biggest challenges when it comes to coaching a team at this level?

Last year you just had to make sure you got into the playoffs. This year it’s an all-out league (with the top two from each conference making the semi-finals) so literally every game is going to be a cup final for me. We won’t look beyond the next game.

Another thing is keeping everyone happy and healthy because we have a couple of double-header weekends. One weekend we play Ballincollig at 4pm in Cork and we play Neptune 23 hours later at home in Killarney. We’ve got to keep guys fresh and that’s going to be a challenge.

 

What were the Lakers’ strengths and weaknesses last season?

Last year, Cormac (O’Donoghue) did a phenomenal job. I’d like to say that. Seán O’Brien, our American, was a super, super player but this year we’ll have Aaron who can play the point and also post up and do a bit of everything.

Defensively last year we gave up way too many points. You’re not going to win anything at this level giving up 80 or 90 points against bad teams. I thought that was our biggest weakness. We played Ballincollig at home and scored 104 points, and lost. You can’t do that.

 

What style of play will your Lakers be adopting?

This year, with the depth we have, we’re going to push the ball at every opportunity. We’re going to run, run, run. I’d be quite happy if we go through a whole game and don’t run a play. And defensively we’re going to be in people’s faces. They’re going to come out of the game knowing that they’ve played us.

I think Carlton is going to bring a lot of that, and Aaron as well. He plays really tough.

 

Do you think the club is in good shape generally speaking?

St Paul’s have 450 kids playing juvenile. There’s not a club in the country that has that amount of players, I would say. We play in the Aura, which is one of the best arenas in the country. We get the biggest crowds at any Super League or National League games. St Paul’s are in such a good place it’s ridiculous. The club is in a massive, massive position and we just have to build on it now.

 

Are there any young players ready to make the breakthrough?

Jamie O’Sullivan is on our panel this year and I think Killarney has a superstar on its hands if he realises how good he is. I’m really tough on Jamie but I’m tough because I know he can be a serious player. He’s 6’4” at 16 years of age. He’s holding his own at training with pros. In my eyes, he should be on Irish panels.

 

How big a role can the supporters play this season?

I was blown away by the crowds last season. They were phenomenal. Already this season, the backing from the fans and the sponsors has been great and I want to thank them for that. But it’s the team’s job to keep the fans happy. We have to put on a show and make sure that we’re winning. I think Aaron is going to be really exciting for the team in that regard. He’ll bring that bounce.

 

What are your goals for the year? Is promotion to the Super League a realistic aim?

This year we’re going after the cups and we’re going after the league. The main thing is that we’re going all out for promotion. This club should be in the Super League. That’s the goal.

 

Follow @AdamMoynihan on Twitter for all the latest Scotts Lakers updates

Pic: Eamonn Keogh.

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Caution urged as “damaging gusts” expected during Storm Barra

Road users are being advised to be extremely cautious during tomorrow’s Storm Barra after an Orange Weather Alert was issued for the county. According to Met Éireann, southerly winds which will later becoming north-westerly, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of up to 130km/h, possibly higher in coastal […]

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Road users are being advised to be extremely cautious during tomorrow’s Storm Barra after an Orange Weather Alert was issued for the county.

According to Met Éireann, southerly winds which will later becoming north-westerly, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with severe or damaging gusts of up to 130km/h, possibly higher in coastal areas affecting Kerry, Clare, Cork, Galway, and Limerick.

A Yellow Warning has been issued for the rest of the country on Tuesday and for a time on Wednesday, as Storm Barra brings very strong winds and spells of heavy rain across Ireland. Heavy rain will bring localised flooding. There will also be a risk of coastal flooding on south and west coasts.

Road users in areas affected by the Orange Warning are advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on a journey.

The following advice is being given by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to road users.

Motorists:

Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds, especially on exposed routes such as dual carriageways and motorways. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.

Beware of objects being blown onto the road. Expect road conditions to change quickly in high winds so reduce your speed.

Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.

Drivers should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.

Drivers need to slow down in wet weather conditions, to avoid the risk of aquaplaning. Drivers should also leave a bigger gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.

If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. They may also have trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.

Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.

After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.

Drive with dipped headlights at all times.

Advice to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists:

In areas affected by Orange Weather Warnings you should consider postponing your journey until conditions improve.

Visibility and light is reduced in poor weather conditions. Keep safe by making sure you can be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.

Take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions as a sudden gust of wind could blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Walk on a footpath where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas.

Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.

Cyclist should ensure that they and their bike are visible to other road users by investing in a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back) and by wearing clothes that help you be seen on your bike such as bright and light reflective items.

For advice on severe weather driving tips, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Killarney competitors bring home the medals

By Michelle Crean It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich. Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the […]

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By Michelle Crean

It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich.

Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the semi-finals.Ewelina Downey received two gold medals in Gi and NOGI fights, just two months after her promotion to blue belt.The club’s coach, Wilson Da Silva, also competed for the first time as a brown belt, and won gold in the Gi category and silver in NOGI.”The results don’t lie,” he said.”The hard work, dedication, commitment and passion pays off. Impossible is nothing, and that’s what we are trying to teach our students in Movement & Fitness Club Killarney.”Martial Arts helps to fight depression, bulling, obesity, and builds up self esteem and confidence, he explained.”There is no ego, no one is better, we are all the same trying to learn from each other, helping and correcting ourselves so we become better together. Our club is filling up with amazing students from age four up who connect with us by the same passion and love for the sport. If you are looking to change your life come and join our family.”

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