Former Dublin dual star Conal Keaney has said the GAA and GPA's new agreement is a huge stride forward that will help give players the one luxury they currently don't enjoy: rest.
A new framework worth €6.2m per year will see a number of improvements for inter-county players, including an increase in mileage expenses, a nutrition expense, a special fund for former inter-county players, a group of delegates to examine demands on players as well as greater GPA input into policy decisions.
Keaney retired from football and hurling duties after a stellar career in both codes, and knows the huge demands players face to compete at the top level.
He welcomed the improved relationship between the GAA and GPA, and revealed his hope that their relationship continues to strengthen.
“At the very start the GAA nearly looked at the GPA as a threat, but I think it’s gone full circle now and it’s great to see them getting on so well together." Keaney told RTÉ 2fm's Game On.
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"Coming up with a deal like this, it’s a great benefit for all the players. For the serious effort inter-county players put in now, it’s only just.
“The amount of time lads have to put in to get themselves in the right shape... at least this gives you that little bit of a window to rest.
"As far as I can see, the difference between professionals and the top GAA players, it’s all about rest. GAA players aren’t resting enough."
Keaney highlighted the enormous levels of desire players are showing for their county jersey as he broke down where the funds go.
With fitness levels and standards ever increasing, the 33-year-old embraced any extra assistance they receive.
“You could be going Monday Wednesday Friday to the gym, so you’re travelling to the gym, you’ve to eat right before you go, he said.
"Then on Tuesday, Thursday you’ve to get to training, I know some lads come in cars together but it’s still a bog cost to get there.
"Anything that the players get is a huge benefit.
“When I was 18, 19 getting on an inter-county team , that was it. I didn't care about anything else – money, everything else went out the window. I think that’s the same for everyone; you just want to compete and get to that level. Once you’re at that level you want to stay there, no matter what it takes."