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Scotts Lakers coach hails main sponsors for support

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As the 2021/22 National League season finally gets up and running, Adam Moynihan speaks to Lakers head coach Jarlath Lee about the new season, his new signings, and the team’s mains sponsors: Scotts Hotel, Killarney Credit Union and the Killarney Advertiser.

AM: Jarlath, you must be delighted to get going.

JL: It was about time! No, there’s a good vibe around the team at the moment. We’re all happy and excited to be playing. Unfortunately the juveniles aren’t back yet, but the seniors are quite happy.

How is your rotation coming together?

It’s getting there. Football is an issue. Mark O’Shea (Dr Crokes) has been back with us the last week and a half or so. He trains with us but he hasn’t been able to play matches. The Gneeveguilla boys are only back this week because they were concentrating on the football. It has been hard to get a proper rotation set just yet.

You’re two games into the season now. Have you learned much about your team and the competition in the opening few weeks?

It’s all about learning. We’re always learning and we’re slowly getting our unity together. I would have like that to have happened a bit quicker but I do reckon we will be challenging. We will be in the top four regardless. Ben is the best point guard in the league without a shadow of a doubt, and Emilian is one of the best scorers in the league without a shadow of a doubt. The young guys just need to build their confidence up and when that happens, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be exciting. For the people that will be coming to the home games, I just want to encourage them to be loud. We need an atmosphere there. Encourage the young guys on the court.

Are those young players enjoying being involved with a National League team?

They’re loving it. They’re all getting a couple of minutes. Senan O’Leary and Jamie O’Sullivan are starting at the moment, so they’re getting their chance. Senan’s confidence is getting better bit by bit. He’s averaging eight points a game. Jamie has been consistent all the way through. And we’ve got even younger players than those two. Jack O’Sullivan is an awesome player. He’s only 16 but he’s way above the rim already. And Luke Crowley as well. You’ll see them all over the course of the season.

The Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre is tied up until the end of the month so Sunday's game against Portlaoise will be played in Castleisland. Is that going to affect the team?

The young players would have played there before but the new guys, Ben Miller, Emilian Grudov and Rui Saravia, haven’t. Will it affect them? No, it shouldn’t. They’re professionals to a certain extent. We’re looking forward to it because we threw away the Limerick game. It was just bad decisions at the end of the game that cost us. We had it won at half-time. And last week (against Fr Mathews), we just didn’t perform on the offensive end. You don’t go from scoring over 100 points the week before to just over 50-something the following week… We’re well able to score. We’ll be fine.

How are those foreign imports settling in?

They’re loving Killarney anyway. They really like it. Ben came back, he wanted to commit to a full year which was great. He knew the team already from last year. Emilian is very young but he’s a phenomenal scorer. In pre-season he scored 26 against Neptune and 31 or 32 against Killorglin, two Super League teams. The new guy, Rui, is a 10 (points) and 10 (rebounds) guy. He’s more of a defensive player. And Dainius Varanauskas, the old dog, is back with the team.

How’s Dainius getting on?

He’s getting there. He’s putting in the work, training twice a day. He just wants to help out. He’s not bothered about minutes, he’s not complaining. He’s just there, talking to the young guys, which is brilliant. It’s great to have him back.

And your own son, Jordan, is involved in a coaching capacity. What is he bringing to the table?

Jordan’s first love is basketball and he loves being around the game. His main thing is strength and conditioning so he has done individual workout programmes for the players. He also brings the team down to the lake for recovery sessions and does yoga sessions. He brings a different sort of approach.

Away from the court, your main sponsors (Scotts, Killarney Credit Union and the Killarney Advertiser) are back on board again this season. How important is it to have their support?

Without the sponsors, it doesn’t happen. It’s great that Scotts and Maurice O’Donoghue are with us as sponsors and hopefully they’ll continue to support us going forward. Even going back to Maurice O’Donoghue Sr and the Gleneagle Hotel, the O’Donoghues have given the club great support. Margaret loves basketball, she’ll be at all the games. The whole family loves basketball. Their kids and their nieces and nephews are all involved. And we have other new sponsors involved too. O’Sullivan Bike Hire have provided bikes to the players to get around town. It’s fantastic to have them all on board.

Lakers fans can now buy their season tickets with a ‘single’ costing €50. A ‘patron’ option (two adults) is available for €100, which include a mention in the gameday programmes. The ‘family’ season ticket (two adults and two under 16s) is €120. This entitles fans to entry to every home league and cup game. Visit the St Paul’s Killarney Facebook page for details on how you can get your hands on these tickets through Eventbrite. Alternatively, you can contact any club officer.

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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