Two-time Manly premiership winner Brent Kite says it's up to young Sea Eagles players to ensure the culture at the proud club doesn't die.
Discontent expressed by star Steve Matai in recent days points to internal factions brewing at Manly, with the angst caused by club great Glenn Stewart being forced out at season's end.
Kite - now at Penrith - says he is not privy to the behind-the-seasons drama at his beloved former club, but admits he does fear the Sea Eagles could be set to lose some experienced big names.
Clive Churchill medalist Kite was one of the founding fathers of Manly's decade-long dynasty of success, and set the benchmark along with the Stewart brothers, Jamie Lyon, Matai, Anthony Watmough and Jason King.
Kite says it is a credit to Manly that despite the rumblings they remain on track for a third title in seven years.
But he senses Stewart's exit could mark the end of an era.
"We prided ourselves on being able to stick together for so long," said Kite, who was squeezed out of the club after last year's grand final.
"We lost guys along the way - but I think the difference now is there could be a few heading at the one time.
"Whereas with (Matt) Orford and (Steve) Menzies, we dropped one or two ... this might signal a few of them having to move on.
"It's a bit sad to see it all come undone but we had a good time while it lasted for sure.
"To their credit, on the field they're still putting the performances in."
It has been revealed Matai unsuccessfully approached Manly for a release to join the Warriors and reports over recent months have also suggested Brett Stewart and Watmough are far from happy about the circumstances that have resulted in Glenn Stewart being shown the door.
Kite, who has his own premiership tilt to worry about with the young Panthers, has faith Manly can stay strong.
In two of the game's premier playmakers, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran, Manly have a bright future - but Kite says the Sea Eagles need strong leadership through what could be a tough time.
"Of course they can get through it. A lot of it's going to fall to the young leaders there now," he said.
"It's what they make of their time in those leadership roles."