SHANE DOOLEY will extend his Offaly hurling career into a 16th season this year as he remains an important part of Michael Fennelly's squad, although the Faithful stalwart is unlikely to see any League action over the coming months due to injury.
Dooley, who has played for his county through three different decades having made his debut in 2007, underwent shoulder surgery in recent weeks and is not expected to feature as Offaly make their return to Division 1 of the League this weekend against Galway.
The Tullamore ace, who is the 10th highest scorer in All-Ireland SHC history, is on the mend and targeting his comeback during the Joe McDonagh Cup as Offaly bid to bounce back to the Liam MacCarthy Cup after a few seasons in the doldrums.
Fennelly will also be hoping to have cruciate victim Oisín Kelly back for their championship campaign while Dooley's experience will be a help to his rookie squad as he remains one of the longest servants still hurling at inter-county level.
The 35-year-old was reduced to the role of impact sub last season as Offaly secured Division 2 League success before landing the Christy Ring Cup, but there is no end in sight and longevity clearly runs in his family.
His father Joe, who managed Shane for four years of his county career (2008 to 2011), played 19 seasons in green, white and gold (1982-2000) in a glittering career which yielded three All-Ireland SHC triumphs as well as an All-Star award in 1998.