O'Dwyer put forward for Laois post

Mick O'Dwyer has been nominated for the role of Laois senior football manager, a position he took on between 2003 and 2006, despite not yet confirming that he is finished with Wicklow.

O'Dwyer's fourth season with Wicklow ended with an All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Cavan last month, and he indicated that he would take 'five or six weeks' to mull over his options.

Speculation suggests that the Waterville man will step down as Wicklow boss, leaving a number of counties to court him.

Laois seem eager to lure him back to the midlands, according to a report in the Leinster Express newspaper.

Former Laois County Board chairman Dick Miller has already put O'Dwyer's name forward for consideration as the county's new football supremo, and successor to Sean Dempsey.

"I've put Micko's name to one of the executive, and I've no problem offering my support for him," explained Miller.

"His record in Laois speaks for itself and we haven't been anywhere near the same level since he left. He created a great stir around the place and I reckon he'd do the same again if he came back. It needs a lift again."

In 2003, O'Dwyer guided Laois to their first Leinster SFC title in 57 years and there were also provincial final appearances in 2004 and 2005 before he bowed out in 2006 following a Championship loss to Mayo.

Joe O'Dwyer, a former Laois Football Board chairman, added: "I'd welcome Micko back with open arms.

"We'd great times under him and he got an awful lot out of the players. I'd have no problem supporting him and I think it would improve Laois again if he came back.

"Having said that, we can blame managers and the County Board but the players have to step up to it.

"If you look at any of the teams going well, they all have leaders and Laois don't have that at the moment. If that doesn't change, it doesn't matter who is in charge."

Dempsey was relieved of his managerial duties in the aftermath of Laois' recent qualifier defeat to Tipperary, and it seems he did not depart on the best of terms.

At Monday's meeting of the Laois County Board, a statement from Dempsey said that he did not want to be thanked for his efforts by Laois chairman Brian Allen and vice chairman Gerry Kavanagh.

In the statement, which St Joseph's delegate Michael Condron read to those present, Dempsey said that 'any such words would have a very hollow ring to them and be very hypocritical'.

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