One of the standout hurling talents of his generation, Austin Gleeson played his part as Waterford reached the 2017 All Ireland final.
The 22 year old achieved one of those rare feats the previous year when he won both the 2016 All Stars Hurler of the Year and the 2016 Young Hurler of the Year in a year when he also won the All Ireland Under-21 title with the Deise as well as featuring for the seniors.
But Gleeson admits that the pressure of living up to the garlanded 2016 impacted him in 2017, including the comments from certain pundits and more significantly the pressure he put on himself which did not prove especially helpful.
"Looking back on it, I shouldn't have been doing that," he told Joe.
Austin Gleeson, one of Waterford’s most stylish players on and off the pitch, was in Dublin to launch Littlewoods Ireland’s #StyleOfPlay campaign for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the ‘Style My Wall’ competition which has a grand prize valued at €10,000.
This summer the fashion, sportswear, electrical and homeware online retailer will be giving its fans the opportunity to win €5,000 in cash for their club and to have their club’s hurling wall ‘styled’ by Littlewoods Ireland. Working in collaboration with a top-class artist and the Littlewoods Ireland style team, the winning club will help to design a bespoke mural for their wall celebrating all that is special and unique about their club.
"The whole year was bypassed then because I was doing it. It was a stupidity mindset out of my own thoughts like and I don't know why I done it.
"I suppose there was so much around the awards: '[I] should have got it, [I] shouldn't have got it...', different things like that."
Although he did not directly hear what certain pundits had said about him, word did filter back through people on the street.
"I wanted to prove a point then the following year," he said.
"It just didn't happen, no matter what I tried. It just didn't come off for me.
"I wouldn't say I wasn't enjoying it. It was more so I was enjoying what I was doing. I was enjoying playing, I was enjoying going training but the second one thing went wrong, I was zoned out of the game for five minutes and I couldn't get back into the game because I was thinking, if I miss a catch, 'Why did I miss that catch? I probably would have made that last year'. So I was thinking back on previous [year] and not looking forward."