Ger Aylward’s cruciate tear, Richie Power’s retirement and Eoin Larkin’s work commitments abroad until April mean there are openings in the forward division.
St Patrick’s, Ballyragget’s Kevin Kelly exhibited his poaching skills with a brace of goals to kill off Tipperary on Sunday.
It was more Kelly, not Aylward, who suggested he would cement a spot for the championship when scoring 1-9 against Clare in last year’s final round Division 1A game.
However, he wasn’t used in the following weekend’s relegation play-off.
Reid believes Kelly, 22, can make more of an impact this season. “It’s up to himself now, he’s fighting for a spot on the Kilkenny team.
"Of course, there are plenty of subs on the bench fighting for a place on the team so we need competition. We need lads putting their hands up to fight for that jersey. He did that (on Sunday).
“Number 10, Jimmy Maher did the same again hitting four points off of one of the great half-backs, Brendan Maher.
"You need young lads coming through. We had a lot of retirements (in 2014), Ger Aylward is missing and Richie Power is gone as well so we need two or three forwards stepping up to the mark.”
Sunday’s substitute Jonjo Farrell, who set up Kelly’s first goal, is another who could make a difference, says Reid.
“He’s been around for the last few years as well, himself and Mark Kelly have been fighting for spots. There’s Chris Bolger and John Bolger in the mix as well so there’s probably five or six.
"Richie Hogan has to fight for his place now as well after being injured so you want competition there.”
Reid enjoyed Sunday’s game with Tipperary, not just because of Kilkenny’s performance or result but for the manner in which it was played.
“The two counties have great tradition there. I think there’s no messing involved, it’s eye on the ball the whole time, there’s no silly stuff, no off-the-ball stuff, it’s just really good hurling and it’s always nice to see that.
"You hate a game going wrong or tactics being involved. The way it is with ourselves and Tipp, I suppose both teams go out to hurl.”