All-Ireland hurling champions Kilkenny could lose up to five established players to retirement before they launch the defence of their titles in 2015.
Another strong link with the recent successful past cut his ties yesterday when goalkeeper David Herity, a five-time All-Ireland winner, confirmed his departure.
It follows Tommy Walsh's announcement last week that he was bringing his stellar career to an end after 13 years.
The focus will continue to fall on Henry Shefflin, who has indicated that he will make a decision on his future after Ballyhale Shamrocks' interest in the club championship is at an end. But that could be as late as next year's All-Ireland final on St Patrick's Day if the Kilkenny champions maintain their winning run.
In the meantime there is speculation that two more players could follow Walsh and Herity out the door. Aidan Fogarty, goalscorer in the 2006 All-Ireland final win over Cork that manager Brian Cody rates as one of his most satisfying, and centre-back Brian Hogan are understood to be weighing up their futures with a view to getting out.
Michael Rice, who tore a cruciate ligament prior to the Championship, may also opt to sign off after a bad run of injuries.
Herity was goalkeeper in the 2011 and 2012 All-Ireland finals having served as replacement to PJ Ryan, but he lost his place last year to Eoin Murphy.When Murphy was injured against Galway earlier this year Herity stepped back in but was dropped for the All-Ireland final as Murphy returned.
Ballyhale keeper Richie Reid, brother of TJ, is well placed to fill in for Herity.