Tomás Ó Sé says the pressures on inter-county managers explains Derek McGrath’s decision to stay away from teaching until September and commit fully to Waterford.
And although the Kerry legend says inter-county management is a high-pressure job, the push for the payment of managers is a "dangerous road to go down".
McGrath has extended his parental leave from his secondary school English teaching job at De La Salle, which he believes he was beginning to neglect, until September in order to concentrate on his role as Deise hurling manager.
"As a player you worry about yourself and that’s it, as a manager you’re worrying about 30 players – 35 players possibly – you’re worrying about physios, injuries, fixtures..."
McGrath said: "I just found I wasn't committed to the teaching as I should have been, whilst I was in class.
"I know I could be vilified for that, or I could be in trouble for saying that. So, I just felt the best scenario for me at the moment is just to be concentrating on the hurling."
Ó Sé, himself a Primary school teacher, understands the reasons behind McGrath’s decision, saying there is far more pressure on managers than players.
Ó Sé told RTÉ: “If you are in a situation where you find it hard to pull yourself away from GAA – and I suppose I was good at that – I was able to step back from it and take my time out.
“But as a manager you could be different. As a player you worry about yourself and that’s it, as a manager you’re worrying about 30 players – 35 players possibly – you’re worrying about physios, injuries, fixtures, all sorts.
“So I suppose the pressure as a manager is a lot more than as a player.
“So if you can’t separate that from giving the commitment of management to your actual day job, which nearly every manager in the country has to face, then I suppose the difficulties come into question.
“Teaching is a tough profession, kids put a lot of pressure on themselves, especially in secondary school to get high marks, and I suppose you can feel the heat a bit.”
Ó Sé also believes McGrath's decision will lead to further calls for the payment of managers, although that is a "can of worms that the GAA don't want to face."
He continued: "To be fair about it, there's a lot of club managers getting paid as it is - the inter-county managers are probably the only managers that don't get paid. It's a very hard thing to track.
"But if you go down the road of managers getting paid I think it'll open a can of worms for players to be asking for the same thing.
"They're giving the same commitments, working jobs that are stressing them out aswell and I think it's a dangerous road to go down."