Eoin Murphy feels Kilkenny's young guns laid down a marker by winning the national hurling league.
After losing their first two matches of the competition, the Cats bounced back to sting together a sensational six-game winning streak, culminating in victory over Tipperary in the final at Nowlan Park earlier this month.
"It was a big statement from the younger players, too. They announced themselves on the scene," the 2016 All Star goalkeeper told The Irish Sun. "Even after losing the first two games, I didn't think we were too far away.
"Against Cork, we started awfully slow and just went through the motions. In the Clare game I made a massive mistake. I dropped the ball into the goal, it should not have happened. It was the difference in that one.
"We would have considered ourselves in the mix for the league, even though we were written off. We know the quality of what we have and how good the players are.
"Maybe people will notice now how good lads such as Martin Keoghan, Conor Delaney and Luke Scanlon are. Winning a national title is great for the younger players on the team who obviously hadn't won anything at senior level. That's brilliant."