Sheffield speedway rider admits he's been in "a really dark place"

James Shanes: Picture by Taylor Lanning
James Shanes: Picture by Taylor Lanning
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James Shanes says he’s now in good spirits after help from a psychologist.

Shanes heads to Essex with Sheffield tomorrow for a Championship clash after recovering from a low point in his career when was axed by Poole.

James Shanes: Pic by Taylor Lanning

James Shanes: Pic by Taylor Lanning

And he said: “Losing my team place at Poole took a massive toll on me.

"I’m finally shaking it off but it took me ages to get that out of my system.

“It hit me hard I had to go and see a psychologist, it took me into a really dark place.”

Shanes, a firm favourite on the Owlerton terraces, has also paid tribute to Tigers bosses for helping him through the bad times.

“I’ve had amazing help from everyone at Sheffield, especially Simon (Stead), Damian (Bates) and the management,” he said. “They’ve been immense and helped out in all sorts of ways.

“A psychologist is the way of modern sports now. Being dropped really knocked me sideways.

"I thought I was safe at Poole and to get the phone call out of the blue was a massive shock and not being given an explanation why was more of a shock.

“Oddly the experience will make me a stronger person. I feel like I’ve come out the other side of it and I can help other people who are going through the same shock and feelings that I had.

“The psychologist spoke about a lot of structure in my thinking. A lot of it is about self-belief. I was going through a stage of not being bothered to do anything.

“I work up in the morning and told myself ‘I can’t be a***d’, I’ll do it tomorrow. My mindset was putting me in the wrong situations, wrong headspace and I was getting into trouble.

“The self-belief was the starting point and getting me back onto the straight and narrow and a path where I needed to be and it has worked.”

Tigers are without Danish ace Lasse Bjerre tonight as he has been suffering from a concussion.

But skipper Kyle Howarth makes a welcome return from a shoulder injury sustained last month.

LAKESIDE: Nick Morris, Zach Wajtknecht, Adam Ellis, Kyle Newman, Richard Lawson, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell.

SHEFFIELD: Kyle Howarth, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre R/R, Broc Nicol, Charles Wright, Georgie Wood, James Shanes.