Nemeton Spotlight Feature: Sorcha Furlong
In the Nemeton Spotlight Feature series, we hear from Sorcha Furlong, an All-Ireland medallist with Dublin in 2010, who works with us as an analyst on Peil na mBan BEO on TG4.
Thosaigh mé ag obair ar GAA BEO i 2012. Fuair mé gortú ag deireadh an tséasúir i 2011 agus tháinig foireann Nemeton chugam chun fáil amach an raibh suim agam a bheith i m’anailísí leo.
I started working with GAA BEO in 2012. I had torn my cruciate at the end of the 2011 season and I was approached about doing some analysis. I’ve loved working on all of the games, even more so since I’ve retired from playing, as it’s helped me to stay connected to the game I love.
A typical day for me starts early, depending of course on throw in time of the game. We usually go on air around 30 minutes before the game starts and we arrive at the ground 3 hours before that.
Once I arrive at the ground, I meet up with the crew that are already there. There is a huge team involved in setting everything up long before I get to the ground. We’d usually have a production meeting shortly after arriving and then have a bite to eat and a chat about some of the talking points of the game. A lot of the time, the foundation of our on air discussions happen here. From there, we get a practice or two done before going live. Once the game starts, I’m trying to keep an eye on anything interesting or unexpected that’s unfolding on the pitch to discuss at half-time or full-time. It’s all go for a few hours and suddenly the day seems to have passed in the blink of an eye!
My favourite part of the job is getting to see the games close up and play a small part in the action. I love getting to discuss and dissect what’s happening on the pitch and why the game is unfolding as it is. It’s a real privilege to be on the sideline or in the commentary box doing something that I love.
I love working at the games. It’s really exciting to be a part of a live TV production. There are so many moving parts and different things happening all the time. It was a real eye opener for me when I first started working at the games to see exactly how many people are involved in the production behind the camera. I’ve always watched matches on TV and before working with Nemeton, I never would have imagined that there was so much going on in the background but the people in front of the camera are only a tiny cog in a huge wheel!
I’ve been fortunate enough to work at so many games and a lot of finals days in Croke Park too. The finals in 2020 were pretty special with no crowd being allowed in. It had been a bizarre year with Covid restrictions being the norm and working at the matches was a real honour. There weren’t many people allowed into the grounds then and it was fantastic to be a part of bringing the games to people at home.
In terms of the memorable matches I’ve worked at, the 2018 senior final was a highlight. As a Dub, seeing Dublin beat Cork for the first time in a final after years of losses was great. Being there to witness the team I’d played alongside coming of age, winning back to back All-Ireland’s while beating the previous standard bearers in the process was special. I was also able to bring my daughter out on the pitch afterwards which is something that very few people get to do!
The unique thing about working as part of this team is that you get to work with so many different people from all walks of life and to do it all as Gaeilge. There’s a real mix of characters working as part of the team and everyone brings their own unique blend to the production. Without everyone pulling their weight and doing their job, the production wouldn’t be as successful as it has been. I’ve met some fantastic people over the years and have made some great friends. I love going to work and I’m lucky to get the opportunity to do it!