'Last resort' switch to midfield saved my career – Tannian
Iarla Tannian reckons his successful switch to midfield last season was a 'last resort' for him after years of underperforming as an attacker.
Tannian finished 2012 with his first All Star and praise still ringing in his ears for his fabulous display in the drawn All-Ireland hurling final against Kilkenny.
But with much improved fitness he has managed to turn his game around to survive and thrive at inter-county level.
The 28-year-old manafacturing technician with Medronic in Galway admits that moving to midfield was "a new lease of life" last season.
"The main reason was that I wasn't performing very well in the forwards," he conceded.
"There were some games there where I was taken off after 18 minutes. The management said switching to midfield was worth a try and luckily enough it worked out.
"The role suited me better. I would have improved on certain things myself.
"My fitness levels are now far higher than they would have been in other years."
Tannian was left out of the Connacht team made up of many fringe Galway players for last Sunday's M Donnelly inter-provincial clash with Leinster.
Aidan Harte and Padraig Breheny assumed the coveted midfield duties, and that omission instantly has him guarding against complacency, despite the advances he has made in 2012 and his current form.
He is mindful of Kilkenny's propensity to win most of their first few league matches and knows they will throw down the gauntlet, as they have done against Tipperary in the last two seasons.
"They have have succeeded that way for the last two or three years," said Tannian.
"They're not going to want to give up their league title too easily so I'm sure they'll come with all guns blazing Sunday.
"It's always a tough test, and a huge challenge but it will give us a fair idea where we stand.
"Kilkenny will want to lay down that marker and we'll have to be ready for that challenge. We don't want to be playing catch-up for the rest of the league."