It is often said that behind every great man is a great woman and a similar theory has become prevalent in GAA circles this century with every great manager flanked by a great coach.
The No 2 is now as important as the boss with the likes of Eamon O'Shea (Tipperary hurlers, 2010 and '19), Paul Kinnerk (Clare and Limerick hurlers, '13 and '18) and Jason Sherlock (Dublin footballers, '15-'19) paid huge credit for recent All-Ireland triumphs.
It's hardly a new phenomenon either with Paul Grimley (Armagh, 2002), Paddy Tally (Tyrone, '03) and Rory Gallagher (Donegal, '12) assisting in Sam Maguire glory, while many others paved the way for the increased importance of the coaching position.
With more and more time going into the preparation of inter-county squads, a manager can only do so much and the days of the top dog standing in the middle of the pitch blowing the whistle and calling the shots in isolation are all but gone.
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"You can't do both!" former Tipperary hurler Brendan Cummins, now working as a coach under Fintan O'Connor in Kerry, once said before asking: "Why would you bring in a dog if you're going to bark?" Managers do the managing while coaches coach.
Seoirse Bulfin has played a significant role in recent years under Davy Fitzgerald - during his stints with the hurlers of Waterford, Clare and now Wexford - and outlines the levels of trust which are needed for the manager and their coaches to prosper.
"Davy would set out a lot of the sessions and we would implement them. Davy is still the manager and he's the boss but he very much does engage every night at training.
"We'll have a chat before training about what way he sees is the best way for the session to go and where our strengths can be utilised," Bulfin says.
"People give out at times about the big backroom teams but a manager can't manage 35 or 40 guys on his own, you need people that you trust more than anything else. Calibre is one thing but a manager must trust the guys around him and be able to work with them.
"The last thing you want is yes men, though, and it's very important that you challenge a manager as well. You know a manager will have the final say on anything but he needs to be tested by us, and vice versa. Otherwise, things can go stale quite quickly."
Donie Buckley is regarded as one of football's most gifted minds and many Kerry folk believe that his recent departure from Peter Keane's backroom team could prevent the Kingdom from reaching the promised land in 2020, such is his coaching nous.
His exit shows the delicate balance which can exist between a manager and a coach but there were no such problems when Buckley worked under another Kerry native Mickey Ned O'Sullivan in Limerick (2008-'10) and was given plenty of room to manoeuvre.
"When you take on a coach, you empower him. You stand back and that's what I did, I trusted him totally. Donie likes space and I gave him plenty of it. We'd discuss what he would do and what should be done and I had complete trust in him," O'Sullivan says.
"Once it went onto the coaching field, I'd stand back and leave Donie do it and he liked that freedom. I gave him the responsibility and trusted him and he loved that. We both knew where we stood and we both respected each other's roles and he did an exceptionally good job."
Another coach of great renown is Kinnerk, a former Limerick footballer who switched his attention to hurling and played a leading role in Clare's All-Ireland U-21 treble (2012-'14) before working the oracle for the Banner's All-Ireland success under Fitzgerald in '13.
Clare star Aaron Cunningham speaks in glowing terms about Kinnerk - he was also his maths teacher for the Leaving Certificate in St Caimin's Community School in Shannon - and his innovative games-based approach to coaching.
"Paul is unbelievable and he's been there while the game has evolved. His ideology is that you should be training in a way that will present itself in a match so that when that situation arises in a game, you've done it a 100 times in training and you're prepared for it," Cunningham says.
"He says and thinks things about coaching that most people wouldn't think or say if they sat down and looked at it for 10 hours. We'd a really good relationship with him and everyone bought into it. You'll always find hunger and appetite for something different and that's exactly what Paul brought."
Kinnerk played a crucial part under John Kiely - as did Cunningham's father Alan - as Limerick's 45-year wait for Liam MacCarthy ended in 2018 to give him the unique distinction of coaching All-Ireland SHC-winning sides in different counties, neither of which were traditional strongholds.
Talk of turning to management is only natural given Kinnerk's trophy-laden CV but it doesn't appeal to him.
"My passion and my level of focus and where I like to be is in coaching, that needs to be my sole focus and I'm quite happy in that position. If I was ever to go into management, I'd have to sacrifice the coaching side of that and that would be something I wouldn't be prepared to do," Kinnerk said two years ago.
Managing and coaching are poles apart in the modern era and while Bulfin is keen to one day try his hand as an inter-county boss, he admits that those responsibilities would be in stark contrast to his role as coach where he can be the good cop and develop a great rapport with players.
A recent conversation with Shane O'Brien, who graduated from coach to manager of the Westmeath hurlers this year, and a yarn about travelling to training in Wexford with Fitzgerald, paints a clear picture of the vast differences between the roles.
"It's just a different ball game and I told Shane, 'It's far easier to do what I'm doing than what you're doing. Management is a whole other ball game'. People couldn't even realise the amount of work that Davy does. You're talking 60- or 70-hour weeks," Bulfin says.
"I'd to travel to Wexford with Fitzy, which I would do very rarely because he'd spend the whole way down on the phone. We'd finish in Ferns at maybe half 9, quarter to 10, I was getting my father to collect me in Birdhill and generally I'd hit Birdhill around half 11, quarter to 12.
"I got back there at ten to one because Fitzy didn't leave until nearly 20 to 11. When training was finished, he had to be the last guy to leave. You've players talking to him discussing non-hurling stuff, discussing personal things they might need a hand with or even a chat about.
"That's all the manager. I can go down, have my few drills planned, go away and deliver them and get into my car and go. I'm not detracting from the work of the coach but, ultimately, it's all on the shoulders to a certain degree of the manager.
"It's far easier to be a coach at any level and it's great to be working with Davy, you get the plaudits when things are going well and generally when things go bad, and I've often said this to him, 'When things go tits-up we can blame you anyway like everyone does'."
One of the characteristics of a great manager is the ability to delegate responsibility and such are the vast amount of duties involved, trouble awaits around the corner unless help is sought and communication lines are kept open.
There's an iconic image just before the start of the 2010 All-Ireland hurling final where Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy is addressing the subs while O'Shea speaks to the starting 15 in a separate huddle and it highlights the manager's trust and belief in his lieutenant.
There was no ego at play and Sheedy's ability to surround himself with the best was illustrated once again this year with O'Shea returning mid-season as coach to complement the work of Darragh Egan and Tommy Dunne.
Many predicted that too many cooks could spoil the broth but, along with Sheedy, they formed an unbreakable quartet to reach the summit with humility at the core of their work as Tipp getting their hands on Liam MacCarthy again was the only thing that mattered.
Good sidekicks are worth their weight in gold so expect to see the calibre of coaching teams improving over the coming years as managers focus on their own job while allowing others flourish at theirs.