Eamon McGee, an All-Ireland winner with Donegal in 2012 and noted fan of Lord of the Rings, was Alan O'Mara's guest on the Real Talks podcast, which you can listen to in full below.
Among the many topics touched upon during the conversation included the current inter-county Gaelic football scene, as we face into a 2017 championship deprived of Magee's presence. In spite of the league final defeat to Kerry, the presence of Dublin looms large over the rest of the country, a primacy most keenly felt in Leinster.
Dublin's strength in depth is almost incomprehensible to most counties in the country, and was on show yet again at the weekend as the Dubs won the final ever under-21 All-Ireland football title.
One of the factors to which Dublin's success is attributed is their financial power relative to the rest of the country. It is true that Dublin receives more funding per registered player than any other county in the country, as these graphics by Shane Mangan reveal.
If you can't make that out, the investment per player in Dublin is €274.70. The next nearest is €68.17, in Fermanagh. Third is Longford, at €62.30.
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo have received €22.30. Kery got €19 per player, while Donegal pulled in €20.10 per player.
While that level of funding has often dominated discourse around Dublin, McGee believes that too much focus is put on it, and that a lot can be achieved through hard work.
I think that's massive. It annoys me now so much when I see teams giving out about Dublin financially. When we talk about Dublin, nobody is talking about Dean Rock hitting frees. Dean Rock is a completely different player than he was four, five years ago, the hard graft he has put in. Nobody is talking about what condition the Dubs are in, and the graft that they put in. Obviously, Jim Gavin has to facilitate this, but possibly 85% of what Dublin do is hard graft. Obviously there is a financial element there too that might give them an added few per cent.
But Leinster teams giving out that we can't compete with them, financially...there's nothing stoopping them from going out and blasting out a training session, getting into the gym, kicking balls, and all that. People forget that. People talk about systems. What they need to do is work hard, progress yourself, and then at the end of that talk about systems.
No team in the world will get anywhere without hard work. It really annoys me when I hear teams saying, 'oh we cant compete with that, we need a manager'. Get out and train, get out and do it. Get out and train to the level Mayo are training at, and then if that doesn't work, then have a moan and ask, 'right, what are we doing wrong here then, and what can we improve on'.
There are a few county boards that have to take a look at themselves, and how they run themselves. People talk about spreading the wealth around. But why should Dublin, because they've got their house in order, why should they have to share with other county boards who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery?
The interview is well worth a listen.