O'Mahony back in range

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Duncan O'Mahony will get another chance to kick B.C. Lions' field goals, head coach and general manager Wally Buono said yesterday.

O'Mahony was 26-for-42 in 2005 until retired Calgary Stampeders' veteran Mark McLoughlin made a comeback and replaced him late in the season. O'Mahony remained as B.C.'s punter.

"That's something he has to re-earn," Buono said. "He did a great job for us in punting; as a field goal kicker he has to grow in that. We're going to bring in more competition, whether that's through the draft or looking at an import."

Buono said charismatic linebacker Carl Kidd could have an expanded role on defense in 2006 after being frustrated with his mainly special teams' role in 2005. Buono spoke last week with Bobby Singh's agent about a new deal for the veteran offensive lineman.

"We're hoping before Feb. 16 comes we can wrap this up," Buono said.

Buono will be working under the Canadian Football League's new $3.8 million salary cap.

"It costs money to field a good football team and I don't think that's been an issue for us," he said. "We're going to put the best product on the field and we're going to do it within the system."

The Lions added another Ackles to the front office. Scott Ackles, son of president and chief executive officer Bob Ackles, is the new vice-president of operations. The younger Ackles was general manager of 2005's Grey Cup festival.

The site of May's training camp is expected to be chosen by Feb. 1. Kamloops, Simon Fraser University and 2005 host Chilliwack are in the running.

Meanwhile, Lions announced their third annual $200-a-plate Orange Helmet Awards banquet for amateur football is March 11 at the Westin Bayshore. Toronto Argonauts' head coach Mike "Pinball" Clemons is special guest. CBC's Brian Williams will emcee.


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