WICKLOW officials have revealed they are still in the dark as to Mick O’Dwyer’s intentions for the 2011 season despite reports that he may be in line for a sensational return to Laois.
O’Dwyer, who has also enjoyed two spells with Kildare, was nominated for the vacant manager’s position by former Laois chairman, Dick Miller.
It was reported that O’Dwyer would call time on his spell in Wicklow come what may this summer but there has been no confirmation of his intentions since the county’s championship exit to Cavan in the qualifiers last month.
“It will be the next couple of weeks before there is any news on it,” said Wicklow County Board spokesman Pat Mitchell yesterday. “There is no news on it at this present time.”
Whether he stays or goes, O’Dwyer has insisted his desire to remain in inter-county management.
Miller, at the helm during O’Dwyer’s previous spell with Laois (2003 to 2006), put the Kerry legend’s name forward for consideration last week and his views have been backed by Joe O’Dwyer, another prominent county board official during that successful four-year period.
“I’ve put Micko’s name to one of the executive and I’ve no problem offering my support,” said Miller. “His record in Laois speaks for itself and we haven’t been near the same level since he left.
“He created a great stir around the place and I reckon he’d do the same if he came back. It needs a lift again.”
Former board chairman O’Dwyer also backed a return for the Waterville great. He said: “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 think it would improve Laois again if he came back.”
However Joe O’Dwyer admitted that the Laois players need to lead the way themselves.
“We can blame managers and the board all we want,” he added, “but the players have to step up to it. If you look at 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.”
Meanwhile, former Laois boss Sean Dempsey blasted county board chairman Brian Allen and vice-chairman Gerry Kavanagh for their role in his departure. A statement from Dempsey was read out by St Joseph’s club mate Míchael Condron at this week’s county board meeting hitting out at an incident which arose in a meeting of the County Appointments Committee on July 9.
The statement said: “At the conclusion of the review meeting with the Appointments Committee, Sean Dempsey asked the five people present from this committee whether or not they were prepared to support him. Of the five present, only one indicated he would not support him for another year, but gave no reason for his decision. Two others expressed support and the other two, chairman Brian Allen and vice-chairman Gerry Kavanagh refused to answer the question.”
Condron told delegates: “Sean Dempsey has requested that no counter proposal be put before the meeting in relation to his position as senior football manager. He has also requested that both Brian Allen and Gerry Kavanagh refrain from thanking him for his services to Laois football over the last 15 years, as he believes any such words would have a very hollow ring and be very hypocritical.”
Both Allen and Kavanagh defended their actions. Allen said: “We were the group elected to make a decision, and we said we would lead from the front and make a recommendation first. We believed it was the right thing to do... we decided not to recommend him, and I still think we were right.”
Kavanagh added: “I didn’t answer Sean because I asked him in a previous conversation not to personalise this. I didn’t feel it appropriate to answer the question, it wasn’t out of disrespect.”
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