Simon Stead has paid tribute to Tigers youngster Josh Bates after helping him to glory in the British Under-21 Final.
Stead, who won the title three times during his younger days, was with Bates throughout the night offering advice. And he said: “Josh was awesome, did really well to pick himself up off the deck and stayed focussed which was brilliant, I’m delighted for the lad.
“I kept drilling it into him that you’re not going to win it in your second, third or fourth ride, it was all about being patient and making sure you got through to the final when anything can happen.”
Stead insists he’s taking no credit for the part he played in the success. “I hope I helped him, but he went and did it himself, it was his own work out there on the track” he said. “He did it when it mattered most in the final. If I can be of any help to any of the lads then I’m always happy to help.
“Josh is good to work with because he listens. He picked himself up from the crash he had early on and got himself back together and showed great character.
“He was wound up about the meeting, but I tried to calm him down and I was so thrilled when he went over the line as champion, hopefully this will be the start of a fantastic season for him.
“When I did it, I felt more pressure when it was at Sheffield. Your friends, your family are there wanting you to win and you can feel the pressure, that applied to Josh but he came through with flying colours. I’m also pleased for Nathan Greaves to get to the semi-final, hopefully that will help him and he can use that to boost his confidence.”
Stead will be back in action with his Tigers colleagues on Thursday at Owlerton when they face Ipswich in a League Cup tie.