Saturday 17 March 2018

Micko's waiting game

Kerry legend yet to decide whether to stay at Wicklow helm

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mick O'Dwyer will keep Wicklow waiting over the weekend before deciding if he will return for a fifth season.

It was hoped that Wicklow's executive would have confirmation of his return last night when they met after O'Dwyer and chairman Andy O'Brien set a 10-day deadline last week.

That deadline expired yesterday, but O'Dwyer is now expected to convey a decision over the weekend, Monday at the latest.

If he does commit for one more year, he will become the second longest serving manager in the game after Mickey Harte.

O'Dwyer has been linked with a number of other counties since Wicklow's interest in the championship ended.

He is one of the nominees in Mayo, though the mood there seems to be more towards an internal appointment, possibly John Maughan.

Monaghan officials are also known to have made contact with the Kerry maestro late last week to gauge potential interest in a first foray into Ulster.

O'Dwyer told the Wicklow players in the dressing room after the qualifier defeat to Cavan that his time in charge had come to an end.

But the Board have kept the door open for him and have been quietly confident of his return in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Liam Kearns has ruled out a return as Limerick football manager. Kearns, who was in charge of Limerick for six years up to 2005, said yesterday he had withdrawn his name from the race. He was one of six nominated to succeed Mickey Ned O'Sullivan.

"It wouldn't be the right move for Limerick football or me at the moment," said Kearns, who also managed Laois for two seasons from 2006.

Kearns has been linked to the vacant Galway job, but is not one of five nominated by clubs to succeed Joe Kernan.

"It's my intention to return to inter-county management at some stage once all the circumstances are right," said the Kerryman.

Interviews were due to start for the vacant Limerick job last night, with another Kerryman, former Clare boss John Kennedy, Drom-Broadford manager John Brudair, ex-Tipperary manager Tom McGlinchey, current Tipp selector and former Limerick footballer John Cummins and this year's Limerick U-21 boss, Maurice Horan from Mayo, in the running for the job.

The race to succeed Kernan took a shock turn yesterday evening when a prominent bookmaker based in the county suspended betting on Cork legend Billy Morgan taking over.

John Mulholland Bookmakers slashed the odds on the former Cork supremo before suspending the market yesterday evening after a flurry of money was placed on the Nemo Rangers man.

Morgan, who could not be contacted yesterday evening, was not among five men nominated for the position by clubs, but the Galway football board executive has the authority to add him to the shortlist next week before interviews take place.

Morgan has Galway connections as his parents are from the county and his father played hurling with Mullagh.

This year's minor manager Gerry Fahy remains the 6/4 favourite followed by former Mayo midfielder and current Barna boss Pat Fallon at 7/4.

Irish Independent

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