Michael Duignan believes Brian Cody must unearth a fresh crop of superstars to bring Kilkenny back to the top of the pile after their chastening All-Ireland final defeat to Tipperary.
The Kilkenny County Board confirmed Cody would be staying on as the county's senior hurling manager for 2017 on Monday night, with Michael Dempsey, James McGarry and Derek Lyng continuing as his selectors.
It means the inspirational boss will be back for an incredible 19th season, and Duignan - a two-time All-Ireland winner with Offaly - said the challenge of reasserting the Cats' dominance is one he'll relish.
"It is incredible: 11 All-Irelands, 15 Leinsters, eight National Leagues, and he's starting out again now having been well beaten in an All-Ireland final last September, which would have hurt a lot," Duignan told RTÉ Sport's Morning Ireland.
"The great players that were there in Brian Cody's time, the Michael Kavanaghs, Noel Hickeys, JJ Delaneys, Tommy Walshes, Cha Fitzpatricks, Henry Shfellin, Eddie Brennan, all those lads, they all came into the Kilkenny team at maybe 18 or 19 years of age and were superstars from a very early age.
"Kilkenny would seem to be lacking that sort of player coming through now. TJ and Richie Hogan would be their two big, big names but they've been on the go a long time now.
"Jackie Tyrrell retired during the week as well so a lot of those household names they wouldn't have. The challenge now is to go back to basics and find those four or five players again that Kilkenny will need to challenge.
"I think it's something Brian Cody will enjoy."
While Kilkenny have slipped from their pedestal, their overall dominance under Cody means many will anticipate a mighty backlash next summer.
The 62-year-old Cody's huge trophy haul makes him the most successful inter-county manager of all time.
Duignan said his insatiable appetite for more glory makes him well-equipped to peg back Kilkenny's rivals.
"It's incredible that he can come back, year in year out, after everything he's achieved and want to go and do it again. His record speaks for itself.
"He has faced challenges before. In 2010 when Tipp beat them I thought Tipp would dominate for the next five years.
"It took them six years to come back and win again. When Clare won it in 2013, we thought they'd be back, they haven't been back since. It's a very challenging thing to do, to win All-Ireland finals."