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Scott Lakers ready for new season ahead

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Report By: Enda Walsh

St Pauls, once again under the banner of generous sponsors Scotts Hotel, commence their National League campaign this coming Saturday in Limerick where they take on Limerick Celtic with a 7.15pm tip-off.

The squad, led by Mark O'Shea and assembled by coach Jarlath Lee, has a distinctly youthful look to it as the club puts down foundations for the future. That's not to say that it won't be ambitious and competitive.This season sees the return of Canadian point guard Ben Miller who, despite signing in September 2020 has yet to play a competitive game for the club with the worldwide pandemic putting a halt to the 2020/21 season without a net being swished.

Credit to Ben, who liked what he saw in his short time here before the COVID shutdown, as he had no hesitation in returning. He has all the potential to be one of the best point guards in the Division and his pre-season form is encouraging. Joining Ben on the court will be six foot five inch Bulgarian U16, 18 and 20 International Emilian Grudov. Highly rated again, his pre-season form has been good where shooting and rebounding are his strengths. Interestingly, the team have met Superleague opposition in pre-season and the form of Ben and Emilian has stood up to these stiffer tests. A returning familiar face to Killarney basketball will be Dinus Varanauskas who, in his previous spell with the club played at Superleague level to huge success, and his experience and know how will be invaluable to the young team. A good shooter, his minutes will be key. As well as the aforementioned skipper Mark O'Shea, the squad has a local feel to it with Irish underage International Jamie O'Sullivan, vice captain, and after building up his time in previous seasons he is now a first five starter alongside upcoming Irish underage trialist Senan O'Leary. Keelin Houlihan is now a mainstay in the squad alongside Gneeveguilla natives Ronan Collins, David Gleeson, and Lorcan Keane. Paul Clarke (nephew of Brian), has put in a big shift in pre-season and his height and strength will be vital under the boards. Promising underage players Daniel Carroll, Mark Sheehan, and Jason Lee are training with the squad with an eye to showing them the ropes of what goes on at this higher level. Kevin O'Regan also joins the squad alongside Ben Flavin, Eoghan Myers and the highly rated youngster Jack O'Sullivan.

EYE ON THE FUTURE

Coach Jarlath Lee definitely has his eye on the future with the club taking the route of harvesting young local talent married to good scouting of overseas talent. Interestingly Jarlath's son, outstanding Paralympian Athlete Jordan, joins him on the sidelines as the team fitness guru.

After the opening night trip to Limerick the team will hit the road NBA style with further trips to Fr Matthews (Cork) with a first round National Cup tie sandwiched between games in Carlow and Waterford. Home fans can pencil Saturday, November 13 in as their first sight of the Lakers as they welcome League favourites UCC Blue Demons to Killarney. December sees a festival of home games against Limerick sides Sports Eagles and Celtics with a December 30 clash with newcomers Killarney Cougars. 2022 will see five home games and if the squad can gather momentum in the first half of the season home advantage could be crucial at the business end of the League.

SCOTT LAKERS FIXTURES

Division 1 is split into two conferences with Scotts Lakers St Pauls operating in the nine team Southern Conference. All home games tip off at 7.30pm.

Home: UCC Blue Demons November 13, Limerick Sports Eagles December 11, Limerick Celtics December 18, IT Carlow January 15, Fr Matthews Jan 29, Portlaoise February 19, and Cougars March 5.

Away: Limerick Celtics October 9, Fr Matthews October 16, IT Carlow October 23, Waterford Vikings November 6, Portlaoise November 27, Cougars December 30, UCC Blue Demons February 13, and Limerick Sports Eagles February 26.

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Jobs to keep gardeners busy

The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy! Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, […]

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The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy!

Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, Phormiums and topiary plants such as Buxus and Bay laurels. Heathers give colour all winter, as do ornamental cabbages. Winter pansies, violas and Batchelor’s buttons are all in stock now, and will provide colour for months, Cyclamen are beautiful – but beware! They do not like getting too wet, so ideally use them in pots and window boxes which do not get too much rain.

Bulbs provide a welcome splash of colour in the early spring, at a time when things are looking grey and grim. Choose from an extensive range – tulips, daffs, crocus, snowdrops – to name but a few. Planting mixtures of different varieties can lead to stunning displays in a pot, for example, plant in layers: tulips at the bottom, then daffs, hyacinth, crocus and anenomes for a long lasting pot of colour. In the garden plant bulbs in informal clusters of uneven numbers to give a natural looking display. Alliums are particularly trendy at the moment, these ornamental onions are available in pinks, white and yellow.

PRUNING

Pruning is one of those jobs which can give immense satisfaction. All old flower heads, the straggly growth of herbaceous plants and branches of unkempt shrubs can go into the compost heap. Pruning equipment can be confusing for the new gardener, so here are a few guidelines: there are two types of secateurs, bypass and anvil. The anvil secateurs is used for dead wood, but the bypass secateurs can be used for live as well as dead wood. The hedge shears are used to prune large shrubs or hedges, but is best for soft or thin growth. Loppers are used to prune trees and thicker branches and have long handles. These also come as anvil or bypass. Some of these are geared, these take the strain and strength needed out of the job, an excellent invention!

As the days get shorter and wetter, moss will start to grow again. Treat paths before they get slippy, with a product such as MossOff. Try to keep fallen leaves off lawns as they contribute to poor growth of grass and strong moss growth. A leafblower makes the job easy – especially a cordless one!

Lawns benefit from a final treatment in the autumn with a product such as an Autumn Lawn Feed and Weed or Viano Recovery from the producers of MO Bacter. These products both treat the roots of the grass, making the plant itself stronger for the winter. They do not cause excessive growth.

Finally, if there are empty beds in your vegetable garden, consider sowing a green manure such as winter rye or red clover. These will prevent weeds from taking over as well as enriching the soil with nitrogen. In the spring they can be cut down and dug into the soil, providing essential organic matter.

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Take the stress out of a career change

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve. Other people are prompted […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve.

Other people are prompted to change because of ambition to develop professionally, the desire for more meaning or purpose, job security or to earn more money.

Whether career change is forced upon you through organisational restructuring or is an active choice you are making, it can bring a mix of emotions. Among them is the fear and a lack of confidence on how to navigate the change effectively and the feeling of overwhelm associated with not knowing where to start. Conversely, it can be a time of great excitement about the possibility of taking on a new (and maybe very different) role or opportunity. Either way, drawing up a career action plan that breaks down the process into manageable tasks will help to ease any stress associated with career change and save you time and energy in the long run.

UNLOCKING YOUR POTENTIAL

Start by thinking about where you are now and where you would like to be – what are your priorities and non-negotiables and what are the practicalities you need to consider? To dig deeper do a self-assessment audit of your transferable skills and competencies, your career values and character strengths. Journal your career change journey by recording anything interesting you find out about yourself or career areas you are interested in. Some people like the idea of drawing up a career vision board as part of the process. Set clear goals and a specific timeline for yourself. As you gain more clarity, write out what your ideal job specification might look like, this will guide your job search. Explore options to up-skill or retrain if you feel this is helpful or necessary. Do a spring clean of your CV so that it reflects you accurately and favourably. Reach out to people in your network who may be able to assist you as you navigate this transition. Think about possible side projects you could work on to explore different areas before taking a big leap. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, it is an important part of career development. Practice interview skills, you want to be able to perform confidently when they come around. Think about this process as unlocking the potential of your ‘career brand’ so that you and prospective employers have a strong sense of who you are professionally, what you value and what you bring to the workplace. Doing this work will enable you to approach your job search and career change with renewed confidence. It will take some time but it will be worth it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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