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Corbett and Cadogan to star in new RTE GAA documentary

‘Skin In The Game’ will be aired Wednesday night on RTÉ 2.

A PUBLICAN, A Dell employee and PR student, a fireman and a strength & conditioning student.

A mix of varied occupations filled by a quartet of Irish people who find common ground in the act of balancing those roles with their involvement in elite inter-county GAA.

The spotlight falls on Lar Corbett, Anna Geary, Michael Carton and Eoin Cadogan on Wednesday night on RTÉ 2 as they are the focus of a new documentary ‘Skin In The Game’.

The idea first cropped up last winter for the documentary’s producer and RTÉ presenter Jacqui Hurley.

She thought about trying to shine the light to provide insight as to how GAA players manage to balance work and and sport.

“I don’t think we do enough of that type of programming as some people don’t understood just how much GAA players put in”, says Hurley. “I pitched it to RTE sport originally last winter as a digital project. They didn’t really have a platform but RTÉ 2 thought it’d make a great documentary.”

Player Selection

Getting the green light paved the way for figuring out what players to approach.

“I didn’t want to try to include lots of players. You can fall into the trap of trying to tell too many stories. I was looking for strong characters with a good representation across the sports.

“We approached the four involved earlier in the year and said we wouldn’t come near them until the championship. They were more than happy to bring us in and let us see their world.

“The hardest stuff was game day. It’s something I’m aware of from being in the media, the closer its gets to games, the less access there is.

“But overall the managers were all in favour. I rang them all to ask was it okay that their players were involved. One of my earliest conversations was with Conor Counihan and he was very supportive, saying how could he help.”

Tipperary hurler Lar Corbett was the first port of call.

“I wanted players who would be involved in the latter stages of the championship and at the start of the year, Tipperary seemed a good pick.

“Lar Corbett was an obvious choice. He’s a brilliant character and he’d a lot going on outside GAA. It turned out he was the first of the four players to exit the championship this year but he was great to work with.”

YouTube: RTÉ Sport

Cork’s Eoin Cadogan was another recognisable name. Shadowing him in a season where he stepped back from being a dual player to focus on football was a clear angle to explore.

“The way he likened this year was that it’s like buying two Lotto tickets but giving one away and that turns out to be a winning one”, reveals Hurley. “He went to football and was gutted that he wasn’t involved with the hurlers.

“It was obvious he just couldn’t do it any more for two teams. You get that understanding. He’s still playing club hurling for Douglas and we did go to watch him play.”

If Corbett and Cadogan are marquee names, then Dublin hurler Michael Carton and Cork camogie captain Anna Geary offered a different viewpoint.

“People know the Dublin footballers but not the Dublin hurlers . I think Mikey Carton is a guy that few people would have recognised.

“I spoke to Anthony Daly and he pointed me in his direction. It was a fun experience. I’d know little about being a fireman and it was really interesting to hear him talking about working hard for a night  before then playing a game for Dublin the day after.

YouTube: RTÉ TV Promotions

“With Anna I wanted a woman in the documentary but I didn’t want a token one. I was looking for a strong candidate and Anna came to mind. She’s a former teammate of mine.

“She’s a strong role model for young women and she’s really good sense about her. Aside from the camogie, she’s very career-orientated. She works in Dell and is studying a PR course by night.”

Filming began last May with Hurley working in tandem with camera man Darragh Bambrick. Wednesday night is the end product and gauging the reaction will determine whether this will spawn similar programmes.

“We’ll see how it goes. This started off as a small web series and then became a one hour project. It’s been a labour of love.

“I’d like to see more of this stuff but it’s going to be interesting to see if there’s a real appetite there for it.”

‘Skin In The Game’ airs on Wednesday night November 13th on RTÉ 2 at 9.55pm

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