Waterford star Austin Gleeson says winning last year's Hurler of the Year award affected his performances this past season.
The Mount Sion man picked up prestigious the gong, along with the Young Hurler of the Year accolade, after a fantastic campaign in 2016 but says they came with a heavy burden.
"Having that title, it was tough, to be honest, and I didn't really handle it well," Gleeson told the Irish Sun.
"It's a horrible thing to say but it's the pressure I put on myself last year. It was more myself than anybody else.
"Local lads you meet in town and they don't really cop you don't want to be hearing about it. They still say it. It's a serious accolade to have - I'm happy to have had it - but thankfully this year I don't have it. I'm happy enough to hand it over to Joe, I suppose.
"Next year is going to be a lot different, I'm going to try and get my fitness back up to the way it was in 2016."