“If you could bottle that man’s optimism and enthusiasm this country would be off its knees in the morning . . . In every county in Ireland there’s 15 footballers as good as the next, as long as there’s the commitment and the belief.”

So said Pat Spillane on (Taoiseach material?) Mick O’Dwyer’s miracle-working with Wicklow, Waterford’s long-time NFL Division 4 sidekicks, who are among the final dozen in the Sam Maguire series after Saturday’s dramatic defeat of Down in Aughrim.

The ageless Micko’s a managerial genius, granted, but one wonders how he’d have coped had any of the counties he’s been involved with ever had a serious hurling team for competition.