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O’Dwyer link to Clare job

MICK O’DWYER could be in line for a spectacular return to senior inter-county management after it emerged that the iconic Kerryman is a potential candidate for the Clare hotseat.

The post has been vacant since Micheál McDermott stepped down after this year’s campaign, and a source has confirmed to the Evening Herald that there have been discussions between Clare chiefs and the 76-year-old Waterville legend.

It remains to be seen whether O’Dwyer – who led Kerry to eight All-Irelands before later managing Kildare, Laois and Wicklow – is ready for a managerial comeback, although this non-drinker and non-smoker has often admitted in the past how football is his “drug”. His wife, Mary Carmel O’Dwyer, passed away last month after a long illness.

It should become clearer over the next week whether the O’Dwyer link is a serious runner.

“If it is announced it would be a great boost, because the profile of Clare football at the moment is not what you would call high,” said one source. “And you won’t get much higher than a man like Mick O’Dwyer coming in.”

A Clare county board meeting was already scheduled for tonight, although no major announcement is expected.

Meanwhile, Tommy Walsh is expected to remain on as an AFL player with the Sydney Swans, dashing hopes that he was planning an inter-county return with the Kingdom next year.

New Kerry boss Eamon Fitzmaurice had his management team formally ratified last night.

Mikey Sheehy and Diarmuid Murphy were confirmed as selectors – as was their new team trainer Cian O’Neill, who helped Mayo to an All-Ireland final appearance this year.

Colm Cooper has already hailed Sheehy’s inclusion, declaring: “If you are a forward in Kerry he has been (a hero) for all of us. He’ll bring something else to the table.”