Saturday 20 January 2018

O’Dwyer commits to fifth year in charge of Wicklow

Mick O'Dwyer will remain at Wicklow for another year. Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Mick O'Dwyer will remain at Wicklow for another year. Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

MICK O’DWYER has ended all speculation about his future by committing to Wicklow for at least another year.

A press conference arranged for Arklow tonight will confirm that O'Dwyer's tenure in the county will extend to a fifth year. That makes him the second longest-serving manager in one county behind Mickey Harte, who is heading for a ninth campaign in charge of Tyrone in 2011.

O'Dwyer has been linked with a couple of other inter-county posts in recent weeks. He got a nomination for Mayo but, over the weekend, informed them that he was withdrawing his name. Monaghan officials also met him the week before last to sound out his interest in the position in that county, but he has spurned all interest now in preference for another stint with Wicklow.

Under O'Dwyer, Wicklow have made impressive strides and reached the last 12 of the All-Ireland championship in 2009 before losing to Kildare.

Wicklow officials have been patient with him since their exit from the qualifiers in late June when they lost to Cavan, a night when O'Dwyer told the Wicklow players that he was cutting his ties with the county. But the Wicklow Board have been persistent and, even with his name doing a tour of the country, they were still confident that he would return.

O'Dwyer is likely to involve his friend Arthur French in his back-room team again while Kevin O'Brien, currently involved with Anthony Tohill as an International Rules selector, will make his mind up about a return as a selector in the coming days.

It is expected that O'Brien will commit again, allowing O'Dwyer to keep the same back-room team together.

O'Dwyer has been busy helping out with his home club Waterville in Kerry, but his return to Wicklow is a surprise given how he had told the players in Cavan that he was leaving and that French had publicly stated his time there was probably at an end during the summer.

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