Down's run inpires Micko to remain on!
MICK O'DWYER has laid down the gauntlet to his Wicklow charges, insisting they must redouble their workload if they are to have any chance of breaking the county's Leinster title duck.
But O'Dwyer, 74, must lead that championship assault without the services of Kevin O'Brien and Arthur French, who have stepped down after serving as his selectors for the past four years.
At an Arklow press conference confirming Micko's return for a fifth - and probably final - season, the legendary Kerryman highlighted this year's All-Ireland run by Down, who were dumped out of last year's championship by Wicklow.
"It did spur us on, seeing what Down have done, but the thing about Down is they've put the work in, simple as that," he said. "It's not a one, a two or a three-day week any more.
"If you want to really win a championship, you have to put in the work. I mean, Kildare, I'd say, have put in six or seven days a week to put them where they are, very close to an All-Ireland final," he added.
O'Dwyer admitted that he considered packing in mangement "probably for the first time ever" at one stage this summer. However, while approaches came from three other counties - widely believed to be Mayo, Monaghan and Limerick - he insisted it was "always going to be Wicklow".
He rejected any suggestions of a rift with his departing selectors, explaining: "Kevin has young kids and he's tied up with them and the International Rules as well. And Arthur thinks he's too busy as well."
O'Dwyer hopes to complete his own backroom team in the next two weeks and stressed that he needs to find another six or seven players for next season.
MAYO SHC SEMI-FINALS
Claremorris: Westport v Tooreen, 4.0
ROSCOMMON SHC SEMI-FINAL
Athleague: Tremane v Padraig Pearses, 5.30
SLIGO SHC SEMI-FINALS
Tourlestrane: Calry/St Joseph's v Western Gaels, 2.0
Coolera: Strandhill v Tubbercurry, 4.0
MEATH SHC SEMI FINALS
Navan: Kilmessan v Kiltale, 3.30, Kildalkey v Trim 5.0.
WATERFORD SFC SEMI-FINALS
Walsh Park: Ballinacourty v Gaultier, 3.30
Fraher Field: Stradbally v Ballinameela, 5.45
WICKLOW SFC SEMI-FINAL
Aughrim: St Patricks v Baltinglass, 5.30
WICKLOW SHC SEMI-FINALS
Pearse Park: Glenealy v Bray Emmets, 3.30; Carnew Emmets v Kiltegan, 5.0
CLARE SFC SEMI-FINAL
Cooraclare: Kilmurry-Ibrickane v Doonbeg, 5.30.
ALL-IRELAND SFC FINAL
Croke Park: Cork v Down, 3.30, David Coldrick (Meath) (live RTE).
ALL-IRELAND MFC FINAL
Croke Park: Cork v Tyrone, 1.15, Michael Duffy (live RTE).
MAYO SHC SEMI-FINAL
Claremorris: Ballyhaunis v Castlebar Mitchels, 12.0
AISLING McGING MEMORIAL C'SHIP FINAL
Cashel: Cork v Dublin, 3.30, Yvonne Duffy (Cavan).