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The Dublin-based teacher who is the first Kerry senior from Templenoe since the Spillanes

Tadhg Morley has burst onto the scene with Kerry.

Tadhg Morley lifts the All-Ireland junior football club trophy earlier this year.
Tadhg Morley lifts the All-Ireland junior football club trophy earlier this year.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

WHEN KERRY SELECTED their side to start against Clare in last month’s Munster semi-final, there was a left field selection in defence.

Tadhg Morley was drafted in to start in defence, the first man from Templenoe to start in senior football championship for Kerry since the legendary Spillane brothers.

He was a fresh recruit but manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has been keeping an eye on him for a while.

Morley was a three-year Kerry U21, including an involvement in 2012 when Fitzmaurice managed that age group in the Kingdom.

Captaining Templenoe to the All-Ireland junior club football title last February also helped put him in the shop window.

“He was on the (senior) squad last summer,” outlines Fitzmaurice.

“Now he was only in and out playing football. He wasn’t a bonafide member of the squad.

“But he’s been living and working in Dublin for the last four or five years. He was in college in Dublin and he’s working in Dublin at the moment.

“So that has been a challenge for him. But he’s a primary school teacher so he’s off for the summer.

“Thankfully he’s nearly there now. He’s been on the radar for the last couple of years.

“He’s done very well with the Juniors and he’s played well with the U21′s as well. It’s worked out better for him this year. The Dublin situation is obviously a challenge.”

Morley has graduated from last year’s Kerry All-Ireland winning junior setup, proving the benefits of that grade.

“Absolutely, it’s great because maybe he’s one of the fellas that could have fallen through the cracks possibly if he didn’t have the juniors last summer,” states Fitzmaurice.

“It is a very positive thing when there are players that do well with the juniors and make the step up and come into our panel on merit and do well then.

“He’d a very good campaign with Templenoe as well when they won their club All-Ireland. For a young player he’s an experienced player as well.

“To be fair to him he was in from the start (this year), so he was doing the S&C programmes that the lads were doing.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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