Micko hails new arrival
MICK O'Dwyer has hailed the arrival of former Mayo star Austin O'Malley as a major boost for Wicklow in their drive for promotion to Division 3 and their longer-term championship plans, WRITES MARTIN BREHENY.
O'Malley (30) will make his Wicklow debut against Longford in Sunday's top-of-the-table Division 4 clash in Aughrim. He has switched from St Vincent's, Dublin to St Patrick's, Wicklow, thereby making him eligible to link up with O'Dwyer's squad.
"He's very friendly with Paul Earls and I'm sure Paul did all he could to persuade him to join St Patrick's. He's a very talented forward, well able to take a score," said O'Dwyer.
O'Malley was on the Mayo panel that reached the 2004 and 2006 All-Ireland finals and played his last championship game in 2007.
He played some NFL games in subsequent seasons, but, having drifted out of the Mayo scene, he is now attempting to relaunch his inter-county career with Wicklow.
His arrival adds to O'Dwyer's attack options, which already feature quality performers in Leighton Glynn, Seanie Furlong, Tony Hannon, Earls and John Paul Dalton.
O'Malley faces an early test against Longford, who are a point ahead of Wicklow on seven points at the top of the Division 4 table. Roscommon (5pts) and Leitrim (4pts) both have a match in hand on Wicklow and Longford.