Tomás Ó Sé believes that the demands of modern inter-county Gaelic football and hurling are too close to professional standards to be sustainable in an amateur game.
"The top club teams train like inter-county teams did in my era," the Kerry great told the RTÉ GAA podcast. "Backroom teams, analysis, and that takes time.
"I think inter-county teams are training like professional outfits and then, unlike professionals, they have to go to work or college.
"In my mind we're putting in professional hours and standards. We’re preparing in a professional way when we’re not, fellas have to go to work. Something has to give somewhere."
Ó Sé said he thought Peter Crowley’s retirement from the Kerry panel at 30 this week was a sign of the general burden on players but that he thought individuals would be unwilling to publicly complain.
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The five-time All-Ireland winner said players were choosing professions and where they live for the game, which was not good for their life balance.
"I travelled from Cork my whole career and actually enjoyed the driving, to get my head straight," he said of his own 15-year stint in green and gold.
"But even in my time there was no fella on the Kerry team that survived who was based in Dublin or outside Munster.
"I was a teacher and I can honestly say I chose teaching mostly because of the hours and the fact that I was off for the summer.
"If I had it all back again, I would probably have made a different decision. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and it's fierce satisfying working with young people, but there are some areas you look at and think 'I would love to have…’
"If I missed one training it would eat me for three or four weeks. The balance was wrong.
"Peter Crowley is a pharmacist. Highly qualified and they have their own business. I don’t know how you can do both.
"I think certainly the days of fellas going on till 34/35 are definitely gone.
"It will mean shorter careers."
Ó Sé also referenced his late uncle Páidí swapping a career in the Gardaí for the more suitable hours of a publican – "I’d say he was a terrible guard anyway but he gave it up because it was interfering with football.
"Inter-county fellas don’t place as much emphasis on rest because they have to work or whatever.
"Páidí would be taking two hours in the middle of every day. He was well ahead of his time.
"Now everybody is rushing and racing. Players are under pressure."
As an illustration that less can be more, Anthony Daly recalled that the Clare team had trained 25 times in the 27 days ahead of their Munster semi-final with meeting Tipperary in 2000 – Ger Loughnane’s last year in charge – but were burned out by the time they got to the pitch.
"We had no bit of energy. If anybody would rise us it would be Tipperary and we laid down to them.
"I’d love if someone came along and won the All-Ireland – who was in with a chance – that had trained Tuesday/Thursday and a good session on Sunday, maybe the gym Wednesday."