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How A Kerry Guard Ended Up Playing For The Tipperary Footballers

How A Kerry Guard Ended Up Playing For The Tipperary Footballers
By PJ Browne
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Leaving Templenoe is the hardest thing Teddy Doyle has had to do. He'd been with the Kerry club, which based just outside Kenmare, his whole life.

They'd been on some great adventures, winning an All-Ireland Junior Club Championship title in 2016, and reaching senior level in the Kingdom.

"Leaving your club is obviously something no fella ever wants to do but such is life," he says.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Tipperary, has been a guard in Limerick city for the past three years. He was based in Nenagh for three years before that.

"I wasn't doing myself justice I don't think, playing with my club the way I was," says Doyle.

"The commute was too much. I wasn't making training as often as I could have and I just couldn't keep it up.

"It was difficult leaving but I've a new club in Ballina in Tipperary. In fairness before I even started playing with them, they were very welcoming, inviting me to training sessions and anything else that was going on in the club."


Not only does he have a new club, he also has a new county. Doyle joined David Power's Tipperary football panel for this season. He'll be with them as they hope to embark on a Tailteann Cup run starting this weekend when they face Carlow in the first round.

14 May 2022; Paul Maher of Limerick in action against Shane O'Connell and Teddy Doyle of Tipperary during the Munster GAA Senior Football Championship Semi-Final match between Tipperary and Limerick at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

"I got married to a Tipp lady in January," he says.

"I've been living in Tipp for the last few years and travelling up and down [to Kerry] for the last six or seven years. So I just decided time is pushing on, it isn't on my side.

"Bit of a funny one I suppose. I've to thank a Clare man for getting me the gig with Tipp. Joe Hayes was a selector with Tipp. I was playing with the Sigerson team in the Garda College when Joe Hayes was involved with them.


"He put my name forward to David Power and the management team there. That's where it came from. I got in training with them and that's how it got started, it was while Joe was with Tipperary last year. Thankfully David kept me on this year. Over the last couple of years I had one eye on some opportunity like this, that if it came up I was hoping to take it.

"I never played for Kerry, so I don't have that to look back on. It was good excitement to put on an inter-county jersey and get to play inter-county football and put yourself at the highest standard you can get to. It was strange alright, but I'm a Tipp man now. I'm living in Tipp and I'll embrace the Tipp colours.


"It's been a huge step-up. The commitment level... I thought I was fairly committed to my club travelling up and down as often as I was. But I'm nearly on the road a lot more now that I'm with Tipperary.


"There's a lot of work that goes into it. I've a new-found respect for the inter-county scene and inter-county panels, players and management. It takes a lot of time and effort. There is a bit of stress involved. It is a bit different to club.

"Having said that, the club scene is so competitive and serious as well now, definitely from what I was used to in Templenoe. There is a jump in standard definitely, you can sense it."

Doyle is not the only Kerryman on the Tipperary panel. Sean O'Connell, who captained Kerry to the 2017 All-Ireland minor title and is originally from Cordal, made his Tipperary debut earlier this season. He's also not the only Templenoe man playing inter-county football outside the Kingdom. Pat Spillane Junior, son of the eight-time Kerry All-Ireland winner, joined the Sligo panel earlier this year.


"I spoke to Pat earlier in the year," says Doyle.

"We crossed paths in the league, we played them in Thurles. I spoke to him after the game. It's all about playing football at the highest standard you can play at. Pat had the opportunity to play with Sligo.

"It's definitely something we can relate to and talk about. It's good to see guys doing something like that, you always want to push yourself as far as you can go. In fairness to Pat he's doing that with Sligo. He did well over in New York, and hopefully I can continue to do the same with Tipp."


Tipperary's Tailteann Cup fate was sealed when they lost to Limerick in a Munster semi-final earlier this month. The 16-point defeat was a disappointing result for a team which had won the Munster title just 18 months earlier.

"We were gutted to lose to Limerick," says Doyle.

"Particularly the way we did. We didn't do ourselves justice. We underperformed, definitely. I don't think we've performed in that manner all year really. Maybe bar the first couple of league games, but we've been going well since.

"We don't have time now to be feeling sorry for ourselves. We've a good management team there that won't let us walk around with our heads down. It's shoulder to the wheel now again.

"Every fella that's training with Tipp, they're there with the hope of wearing the jersey and playing, just getting game-time. So that's not gone away. We're still playing inter-county football, so definitely fellas will embrace it to try and stake their claim."

Picture credits: Sportsfile

See Also: Davy Fitz And Derek McGrath Want Justice For The Kerry Hurlers

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