Wicklow can go even further, says Micko

Wicklow's historic 0-13 to 0-9 victory over Kildare in the Leinster championship yesterday may have been a shock to many but their manager Mick O'Dwyer knew his side had it in them to pull off a shock.

"It came from a lot of hard work," a delighted O'Dwyer said after Wicklow's first ever senior championship win at Croke Park.

"We trained so hard all over the winter and we had set May 18 as our day to win, and that was our day - league or nothing else matters.

"There's only one thing that matters - championship football. It's great for Wicklow."

O'Dwyer was thrilled with the excellent display by his charges as they made little of the divisional gulf between themselves (as a Division 4 outfit) and Kildare who were relegated from Division 1 recently.

"We played marvellous football throughout the game. We have some marvellous young footballers coming through. I think we have the material there to go on further," he added.

O'Dwyer also had a word of consolation for his former team Kildare, who had Kieran McGeeney in charge for his first championship match.

"Kildare are a good county - they always produced good footballers and I can tell you, we just had them on the ropes on the day."

With his 72nd birthday not far away, O'Dwyer was quick to dismiss the chances of him retiring from inter-county management any time soon.

"Every time I finish a game at this stage, the first question everybody will ask me will be: 'When are you retiring?'

"That should never come into the equation. I'm going to go on as long as there is life in my body - I can assure you that," the Waterville man explained.

Micko's Kildare counterpart McGeeney was undoubtedly disappointed with his championship debut as a manager.

"My playing days are gone from me in terms of inter-county football. I'm going to have to sit and look and see where management is going to fit in, because on today's performance it wasn't that good."

O'Dwyer will have to create his magic once again on Saturday, May 31 when Wicklow meet Laois, another of his former teams, in an intriguing Leinster quarter-final at Dr Cullen Park.

The sides last clashed in the championship in 2002, ironically at the same venue, where the midlanders recorded a 3-6 to 0-8 win over 13-man Wicklow, with Michael Lawlor, Brian McDonald and Chris Conway netting the goals.

None of this trio will be available to current Laois boss Liam Kearns in a fortnight's time for a game which will have a 7pm throw-in.

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