Mick O'Dwyer: What does the future hold?

Updated: Sunday, 17 Jul 2011 23:02

O'Dwyer - Has still to decide whether his services will be on offer for the 2012 season
O'Dwyer - Has still to decide whether his services will be on offer for the 2012 season

by James McMahon

After the defeat to Armagh signalled the end of Mick O'Dwyer's reign as Wicklow manager, the Waterville legend has not ruled a return to inter-county management.

The Garden county lost by five points in the All-Ireland Qualifier Round 2 replay, bringing to an end O'Dwyer's five-year stint in charge.

After the game, the Kerryman was in reflective mood as he pondered the defeat, while also being questioned on the prospect of another season or two calling the shots from the sideline with another county.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport's Darren Frehill, he said: 'We certainly had plenty of chances at the end of the game, but we didn’t put them away. We missed a number of frees which would have made a big difference, yet we fought to the bitter end and our supporters were right behind the team all the way through.

'Overall, I thought Armagh on the day were that little bit better and it is only now that we can look back with some regret at the opportunities we had to win the game last weekend.

'Their squad has more depth than ours, but our lads are developing and hopefully with a new voice coming in, Wicklow can continue to evolve as a team. My tenure with the county is over. I have given them five years and I have no doubt that I have risen the profile here.'

As to the future, O'Dwyer did not firmly close the door on him being involved at the highest level elsewhere.

'I have made no decision yet as to whether I will take up another job somewhere else. But I’ll think about my future over the next few weeks. I'd like to think my involvement in the game is not over yet. We'll just have to wait and see.'

O'Dwyer has been in the management game since 1975 and also spoke about the highlights since then. He picked out the demolition of Dublin in the 1978 All-Ireland Final for special mention. He added: 'We had last the previous two finals and the powers that be were about to get rid of the selectors and myself. However, we beat the Dubs by 18 points and so I was able to hang around for a while longer and win a few more All-Irelands with Kerry.

'Winning Leinster titles with Kildare and Laois also gave me huge satisfaction. If you look at Kildare at the present time, a lot of their players were juveniles when I was in charge, so I’d like to think that in some way I inspired their careers.'