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Mick O'Dwyer talks to Marty Morrissey about what he hopes to achieve as coach of the Clare footballers

Updated: Monday, 14 Jan 2013 19:55 | Comments

O'Dwyer takes to the field in Miltown Malbay
O'Dwyer takes to the field in Miltown Malbay

Audio

Another chapter in the management career of Mick O'Dwyer has just begun, with Clare hoping they can benefit from what the Waterville legend will impart. 

It’s all of 38 years since O’Dwyer took charge of the Kerry senior footballers for the first time. He presided over a team, perhaps the greatest that ever played the game, that would go on and win eight All-Ireland titles. 

Since then, his footballing message has been expressed in Kildare, Laois and Wicklow. Now, in his 77th year, O'Dwyer sets about making Clare a more formidable force.

O’Dwyer accepted the offer from county board chairman Michael O’Neill to come on board. Also on the management ticket is Michael Cahill, who will oversee the physical training, leaving O’Dwyer free to fine tune the core aspects of the game.

The scene is Miltown Malbay and the Clare players are going through their paces in a training session. The evening is cold, yet there is plenty of urgings from the sideline.

Marty Morrissey, a proud Clareman, is on hand to record a piece for RTÉ Radio's Countrywide programme.

Interestingly, the venue was where Kerry humiliated Clare in the 1979 Munster championship on a scoreline of 9-21 to 1-09. O’Dwyer recalls that game: “A lot of the Kerry subs were playing for their places on the team that afternoon. They were all keen to impress and that was the reason for the high score.”

Fast forward through the years and Clare’s new boss is enthusiastic about the season ahead. He explained: “The intention is to improve football in the county and that’s what it’s all about. I understand and I know that Clare is a hurling county, but I believe there is plenty of room for a competitive county football team. 

"Clare had some outstanding players on Railway Cup teams, so a tradition of sorts has always been there. I’ve had an excellent response from the players – the majority of those we’ve asked to be part of the panel have come.

"The big date for me is in June when we enter the championship, but we’ll be trying to get out of Division 4 of the league. I do intend intend to have a look at as many players as possible over the next few months.

"If you want to have a decent championship side, you have to assess all options."

O’Dwyer’s footballing philosophy is essentially a simple one. “I will be telling the lads to kick the ball a lot more. The direct route is always the best and many training session will be used to improve the art of kicking.

"The more you practice something in life, the better you will be!”

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