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Wicklow county football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wicklow GAA crest.jpg
Irish:Cill Mhantáin
Nickname(s):The Garden County
County board:Wicklow GAA
Home venue(s):Aughrim County Ground
Recent competitive record
Current All-Ireland status:Leinster (QF) in 2020
Last championship title:None
Current NFL Division:4 (2nd in 2020; promoted to Division 3)
Last league title:None
Second colours

The Wicklow county football team represents Wicklow in men's Gaelic football and is governed by Wicklow GAA, the county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The team competes in the three major annual inter-county competitions; the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the Leinster Senior Football Championship and the National Football League.

Wicklow's home ground is Aughrim County Ground. The team's manager is vacant.

The team has never won the Leinster Senior Championship, the All-Ireland Senior Championship or the National League.

Crest and colours

Wicklow's traditional team colours are royal blue and gold. The kits are usually blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks with a gold trim. Wicklow's alternative jersey is white with blue shorts and blue socks.

The Wicklow crest features the roundtower of Glendalough in the foreground surrounded by a large 'W' standing for the name of the county. In the background of the crest is a green mountain, representing the Wicklow Mountains and below is a hand holding a Gaelic football and a hurley and sliotar.

Kit evolution

Original kit[needs update]
c. 2014?

Team sponsorship

Joule became Wicklow's shirt sponsor ahead of the 2017 season.[2]

Manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Years Sponsor
1999–2003 Wicklow GoI
2004–2005 White Young Green
2006–2009 Ballymore Group
2010–2013 Brennan Hotels
2014–2016 Arklow Bay Hotel
2017– Joule


Wicklow are one of two county teams never to have won a senior provincial football championship (the other is Fermanagh), but Bray Emmets, the leading side of the early 1900s, won Leinster and All-Ireland honours when they were playing in the Dublin Championship. Wicklow were twice proclaimed Leinster champions for short periods. Bray were representing Wicklow in 1889, and when they beat Newtown Blues of Drogheda by 1-7 to 1-4 they claimed that they had won the "final of Leinster" because Queens County or Kilkenny had not shown up for a final. But four days later the result was quashed. In 1897 they became Leinster champions for a week. A downpour caused Dublin to presume the Leinster final would not be played, Dublin went home, the referee awarded a walk-over to Wicklow. But the following meeting of the Central Council ordered the match to be replayed and Wicklow lost by 1-9 to 0-3.

A League semi-final in frostbound 1947 came about in bizarre fashion: Wicklow were picked to represent an unfinished group in which some of the teams had not yet played. In 1954 Wicklow were leading Meath by two points after sixty minutes of play but Meath were saved by the clock. Nine minutes of lost time had elapsed before Meath scored the winning point! After surviving the "long count" Meath went on to win the All-Ireland, and Wicklow lost their best player of the decade, John Timmons, to Dublin.

In 1986 they pulled off a huge upset beating newly crowned League champions Laois in the Leinster Quarter-final on a scorching hot June day in Aughrim by 2-10 to 1-9, Wicklow legend Kevin O'Brien scored 2-3 in that game. However, they were no match for Meath, who knocked them out in the Leinster semi-final.

A near thing against Meath, just off their four-match with Dublin in 1991 (Wicklow drew 0-12 to 1-9 and lost the replay by three points) heralded a great start to the 1990s. But Wicklow's only championship wins since were against Longford and Westmeath, and a 1996 League quarter-final appearance against Donegal their nearest to a breakthrough. Lying in wait for complacent opponents, particularly in Aughrim, for unsuspecting opposition has been the Wicklow trademark since. Exploits included a 1986 win over newly crowned League champions Laois at Aughrim, and a 1981 defeat by just two points against Dublin in the Leinster quarter-final, after a miracle save in the last minute by Dublin's goalkeeper John O'Leary.

Since 2000

The early part of the 2000s were very lean for Wicklow, with them winning very few championship matches however they did produce a number of competitive results and were unfortunate in several games. Under the management of Hugh Kenny Wicklow lined out against Meath in the opening round of the 2004 Leinster Championship. They were playing exceptionally well and were leading Meath by 1-6 to 0-7 early in the second half when midfielder Ciaran Clancy was harshly sent off. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of Wicklow who never recovered and were hammered 2-13 to 1-8, Derry then knocked Wicklow out of the championship in the Qualifiers by 1-15 to 1-10.

Against Kildare in the opening round of the 2005 Leinster Championship they came very close to a first win leading Kildare but unfortunately for Wicklow, the age old problem of not being able to close out a game surfaced, and they were ultimately beaten by 1-17 to 2-12, Donegal then knocked Wicklow out of the Qualifiers beating them by 0-16 to 0-12.

Under Mick O'Dwyer

In October 2006, legendary former Kerry manager and player Mick O'Dwyer took over as Wicklow manager. During his tenure Wicklow's championship results improved, while Wicklow had shown promise in 2004 and 2005, they suffered two heavy defeats in the 2006 championship. In 2007 under Mick O'Dwyer they played Louth in the first round of the Leinster Championship, taking Louth to two replays before finally being beaten; however, later that year, they went on to win the Tommy Murphy Cup, defeating Antrim in dramatic fashion with a late Tommy Gill goal in extra-time,[3] securing the Wicklow senior footballers a second ever national trophy, and first ever win in Croke Park. As Wicklow were a Division 4 team they were not permitted to enter the 2007 backdoor.

Going into the 2008 championship, Wicklow had not won a championship game since beating London on 8 June 2002, and had not won a Leinster Championship 1st round proper game since beating Longford by 1 point in 1996 (they won a Leinster group game in 2000, but this was the only year under that format). They faced a heavily fancied Kildare in the 1st round and completed arguably their greatest ever championship win beating Kildare 0-13 to 0-9, this was also their first ever championship win in Croke Park, they went on to lose narrowly to Laois in the Quarter-Final. Again as they were a Division 4 team they were not permitted to enter the qualifiers, so they went on to try and defend the Tommy Murphy Cup but ultimately lost to Antrim in the final.

The 2009 Championship was one of the most memorable in Wicklow's history, they won their Leinster 1st-round game against Longford by 2-12 to 1-13 before narrowly losing to Westmeath in the next round by 0-16 to 1-10. Division 4 teams were allowed to enter the Qualifiers again by 2009 and so Wicklow began their campaign by beating Fermanagh 0-17 to 1-11 in the 1st round, they then comfortably beat Cavan by 1-12 to 0-8 in the 2nd round, they dramatically beat Down by 1-15 to 0-17 thanks to a late 45' that was scored by Tony Hannon before their famous run finally came to an end when Kildare beat them by 1-16 to 2-9 in the last round of the Qualifiers.

In 2010, Wicklow beat Carlow in the 1st round of the Leinster championship but again narrowly lost out in the Quarter-final, this time to Westmeath by a single point, 0-15 to 1-11 but unfortunately they were unable to repeat their historic 2009 Qualifier run losing out to Cavan in the 1st round, agonisingly by a single point again, 0-15 to 2-8.

Wicklow's 2011 Leinster campaign started poorly with a 0-12 to 0-5 1st round defeat by Kildare; however, they bounced back well, defeating Sligo by 1-18 to 0-16 in the 1st round of the Qualifiers, in the 2nd round they drew with Armagh 0-19 to 2-13 before losing the replay at home by 2-9 to 0-10. This brought an end to Mick O'Dwyer's five years as manager of the Wicklow footballers.

After O'Dwyer

Harry Murphy succeeded O'Dwyer as manager in 2011. He lasted until 2014.

Johnny Magee succeeded Murphy as manager in 2014. He lasted until 2017.

John Evans took over as manager in 2017. He lasted until 2019.

Davy Burke took over as manager in 2019.[4] He departed as manager in 2021.[5]

Current squad

Team as per Wicklow vs Dublin in the Leinster SFC quarter-final, 27 May 2018

No. Player Position Club
1 Mark Jackson Goalkeeper Baltinglass
2 Ciarán Hyland Right Corner Back AGB
3 Ross O'Brien Full Back Rathnew
4 Eoin Murtagh Left Corner Back Dunlavin
5 John Crowe Right Half Back St Patrick's
6 Dean Healy Centre Back St Patrick's
7 Saoirse Kearon Left Half Back Avondale
8 Rory FinnRET[6] Midfield Kiltegan
9 James Stafford Midfield Rathnew
10 Darren Hayden Right Half Forward Éire Óg
11 Kevin Murphy Centre Forward Baltinglass
12 Theo Smyth Left Half Forward Rathnew
13 Mark Kenny Right Corner Forward Ballymanus
14 Seánie Furlong Full Forward Kiltegan
15 John McGrath Left Corner Forward Baltinglass
No. Player Position Club
16 Robert Lambert Substitute Aughrim
17 Paul Merrigan Substitute Rathnew
18 Cathal Magee Substitute Bray Emmets
19 Brendan Kennedy Substitute An Tóchar
20 David Boothman Substitute Blessington
21 Conor Healy Substitute Donard
22 Darragh Fitzgerald Substitute AGB
23 Jamie Snell Substitute Rathnew
24 P. J. O'Keefe Substitute Hollywood
25 Harry Wilson Substitute Hollywood
26 Daniel Keane Substitute Éire Óg

RET Player has since retired from the county team.
INJ Player has had an injury which has affected recent involvement with the county team.
WD Player has since withdrawn from the county team due to a non-injury issue.

Current management team

Managerial history

This is a list of people who have managed the Wicklow county football team.

Moses Coffey 1999–2001

John O'Leary 2001–03

Hugh Kenny 2003–06

Mick O'Dwyer 2006–11

Harry Murphy 2011–14

Johnny Magee 2014–17

John Evans 2017–19

Davy Burke 2019–21



All-Irelands (8)
Provincials (11)
Leagues (1)


  1. ^ "Wicklow unveil new jersey for 2021 season". Hogan Stand. 30 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Pics: London And Wicklow Launch Slick New GAA Jerseys". Pundit Arena. 1 February 2017. Similar to London, the new Wicklow GAA jersey with new sponsor Joule generated a positive reaction after its official launch in the Powerscourt Hotel on Tuesday evening.
  3. ^ "Wicklow 3-13 Antrim 1-17 (AET)". RTÉ Sport. 4 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Davy Burke appointed Wicklow football manager". RTÉ. 24 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Davy Burke steps down as Wicklow manager". RTÉ. 19 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Wicklow veteran Finn hangs up his boots". Hogan Stand. 5 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Larkin takes on Wicklow role". Hogan Stand. 9 April 2021.
  8. ^ "One of Wicklow's Greatest". Hogan Stand. 23 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Death notice of Jim Rogers". 21 November 2020.
This page was last edited on 3 January 2022, at 15:49
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