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Best at Tinder? Teacher’s pet? Dual star Mark O’Shea dishes the dirt on his Crokes and Lakers teammates

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Adam Moynihan talks to Dr Crokes and Scotts Lakers dual star Mark O’Shea about coping with the pandemic, his teammates, and his goals for 2021

 

Hi Mark. How have you been coping with the latest lockdown?

Yeah, times are kind of tough at the moment but the vaccine has given us some kind of hope. I’ve just been trying to get out and keep as active as possible. Kicking the ball around a bit and keeping the mind occupied.

 

The basketball season seems to be up in the air. Are you optimistic that it will be played?

Before Christmas they came out and said that they’re hoping it might resume around St Patrick’s Day, depending on what level we’re in at the time. They have deemed us “elite” so we’re all trying to keep some level of fitness, and hopefully we might get to play a few games. We’ve done a bit of training and it’d be nice to see it being put to use.

 

You had been focusing more on football in recent times. What made you want to get back into the basketball?

It was the way the season fell last year, really. Normally the football runs until Christmas so it’s tough to fit both in. Jarlath Lee (Lakers head coach) got onto me and said it was a young team and he would love if I could come back and train away. I really enjoyed it when I went down and I got right into it.

 

You must have been looking forward to that derby against Cougars?

Yeah, it would have been a lovely opener, a good game to start the season off. We were gearing up for that and then it was called off, so it was a bit disappointing.

 

What about Dr Crokes: how are you and your teammates dealing with the lack of action?

The management just told us that they don’t really know what’s going to happen but they asked us to keep a high a level of fitness, to keep our skills to a high level, and some fellas, like myself, to improve on the bit of gym work at home until we do get back.

 

On a personal level, how would you rate 2020?

I would say it was only an ‘okay’ year. It could have gone a bit better. It was a strange one. We got no action with the basketball and a small bit with the football. With Crokes, we were kind of unlucky at the latter end of both championships with the injuries we picked up and how the year finished for us. But hopefully this year things will be slightly better.

 

What are your goals for 2021?

My goals personally would be to play some basketball if possible and maybe give the league a rattle and, football-wise, hopefully to be competing again at the later stages of the championship. To win some silverware would be nice. We have a few new faces coming through who played for Kerry underage so hopefully they can add something for us.

 

Are you superstitious at all? Any pre-match routines?

I wouldn’t be before the game but I salute magpies alright if I see one. I’d be waving away at them!

 

What’s your favourite song to listen to pre-game?

The one song I listened to before games last year is No Sleep by Wiz Khalifa.

 

What would you belt out at karaoke or a sing-song?

Generally I’d try to sing something that would have people joining in fairly fast. I’ve only the one song really and that’s Seán South of Garryowen.

 

Who’s the best man for a song in the Crokes dressing room?

I’ll have to say Johnny Buckley, or Shane Doolan when he was playing.

 

Last series you binge-watched?

Power Book II. That had a good finish to it.

 

Favourite spot for a pint?

It’d be between the Speak and Corkery’s. They’re not too far away from each other so I normally try to hit the both of them!

 

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when the pandemic is over?

Definitely book a holiday. Try to get a bit of sun in Spain or somewhere.

 

Some questions about your teammates to finish up. Who spends the most time in the gym?

Jamie O’Sullivan (Scotts Lakers). He’s a serious player for the future.

 

Who never stops complaining?

Shane Murphy. 100%. He’s always a man to get going. For the Lakers, Senan O’Leary. He wouldn’t be too fond of the runs or the tough drills.

 

Who’s the teacher’s pet?

Tony Brosnan.

 

Best at Tinder?

Brian Fitzgerald or David Naughton. They’d be two dark horses for the Tinder.

 

Best/worst at FIFA?

John Payne fancies himself big time. He’s always on about how good he is. I haven’t played him but I’d say he’s alright. Paul Clarke is fairly handy as well. The worst, hands down, is Billy Courtney. He has been practicing mad over the lockdown so he might have improved.

 

Which teammate is most likely to become a club officer?

Jordan Kiely or Gavin O’Shea. I could see them getting involved.

 

And last one: if you could bring back one St Paul’s or Dr Crokes legend to play alongside, who would it be?

For St Paul’s, I’d say Shane Horgan. I grew up watching him in the Pres and the INEC and he was one of the main reasons I stuck at playing. For the Crokes, it’d be between Gooch and Ambrose O’Donovan.

 

Ambrose will enjoy that! Thanks Mark. All the best.

Cheers Adam.

 

 

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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