O’Dwyer continues Garden party

MICK O’DWYER jumped on for one last spin of the GAA managerial merry-go-round last night when he reaffirmed his commitment to Wicklow at a press conference at the Arklow Bay Hotel.

But the 74-year-old Kerry legend also admitted that his gut instinct over the summer was to retire from management altogether.

“I did have it in my mind, probably for the first time ever, to pack it in altogether,” he revealed last night.

“But at home in Waterville I fell in for a few weeks with our club side when Brendy Donnelly was indisposed and it gave me a little twist of excitement again.”

O’Dwyer confirmed he had also been approached by three other counties since his two-year term as Wicklow boss ended disappointingly this summer, but stressed that he never had any formal discussions with any of the counties involved. They are widely believed to be Mayo, Monaghan and Limerick.

“The county board in Wicklow seemed to be pretty unanimous in coming back for me again and that was a fillip in itself. It is always better to work in an environment like that,” added O’Dwyer.

“I did give it an awful lot of consideration and it is for one more year. We had a great campaign in 2009 but things fell a bit flat this year. I still reckon there’s enough potential there to give things a real go.”

The Kerryman also appealed for cash “to see after our players” and said they would give it a “right rattle” in next season’s Championship and that with some extra hard work they could compete for the Leinster championship.

However, Kevin O’Brien and Arthur French will not be part of his backroom team.

The pair had been members of Micko’s selection committee since 2007 and shared in the highs and lows over those four years.

O’Dwyer rejected any suggestion of a rift and pointed out that Kevin O’Brien was tied up as a selector with the Ireland team, while auctioneer Arthur French had his business commitments to attend to.

Jimmy Whittle from Dunlavin and Martin Coleman from Baltinglass will be continuing as members of the backroom team in 2011 and O’Dwyer said he would be back to the County Committee within two weeks with the complete list of names.

2009 was Micko’s most successful season in charge of Wicklow when he took them to the last 12 of the All-Ireland qualifiers.

It was also confirmed that Brian Brennan of Brennan Hotel was continuing on as the main sponsor of not just the county senior team but also the U21s and minors.


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