THE break-up of Kerry's 2009 All-Ireland winning team continues with the announcement that Mike McCarthy is to retire, WRITES Martin Breheny.
It's the second occasion hat he has quit inter-county football, but, at the age of 32, it's likely to be permanent this time.
He quit after Kerry's 2006 All-Ireland success, but made a dramatic return during the 2009 championship campaign and played a major role at centre-back as Kerry advanced through the qualifiers to win the title.
McCarthy's departure brings to five the number of 2009 All-Ireland medal winners no longer available to Kerry.
Goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy and midfielder Darragh O Se have both retired, while Tommy Walsh and Tadhg Kennelly are playing in Australia.
The panel is likely to undergo further changes as manager Jack O'Connor begins a rebuilding programme, which is seen as all the more urgent by Kerry supporters following Cork's All-Ireland win this year.