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Simon's return
Wednesday 17th February 2016
by Mike Hunter
Amongst several riders making a return from injury in the Bonanza will be Sheffield's Simon Stead, and he gave us an update on his current thoughts including his support for the Ben Fund.
"I feel good, my fitness levels are back up to where they need to be for the new season. Physically the injuries are not preventing me doing anything that I need to do to get ready. The last thing that I've got to do is get back on a bike which will be happening at the back end of February when I am away with the England Under-21 youth team. I'm really looking forward to that, and that will be the final test, but I'm not anticipating any problems.

"When you sustain such bad injuries as I did, especially when you are at the stage of your career that I am, you need to have a good think about what you want to do, and if you want to get back on a bike. There was a time there when I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do, which was a shame because everything before my accident was going so well. Certainly my Premier League form was really really good, and with regard to my Elite League performances we had found some different setups that were working, and we were heading in the right direction there.

"We were on the crest of a wave, enjoying it, and I feel like I can get back to that level. I still think I've got plenty to offer, in both leagues if I get the opportunity, but for now my focus will be on being the no. 1 and captain of Sheffield which is my home town club and something I am really passionate about.

"It's a great time at Sheffield, they've been investing in the place, investing in the team, they've made some great signings over the winter and we've got some fantastic assets. Josh Bates is going to be a great asset in years to come – sometimes I see myself in him, riding for his home town club, sometimes the pressure gets on top of him a little bit, and he wants more from himself than anybody else is expecting.

"There's a lot that I can help the boys with, there's a lot of potential within the team, and I'm sure that if we can ride to our potential and bond as a team, which I am sure we will, then it's going to be a really good season for Sheffield Speedway.

"I think the Ben Fund is something that is a massive, massive help in assisting speedway riders that are injured to have a little bit of financial stability. Our sport isn't like football or many others where we continue to get paid while we are injured, so the Ben Fund provides the support they need. They helped me out massively last year, and they approached me early on about doing the Ben Fund meeting.

"I had absolutely no hesitation, I was pleased to be asked and I'm looking forward to a successful meeting on a track which is always well prepared and a stadium with fantastic support. It's a way of kicking the speedway season off with something to look forward to.

"The Sky stuff is something that I'd like to get more involved with, it's something which so far has come up only a couple of times a year. The job that Nigel, Kelvin and Chris do is pretty much faultless but if there was an opportunity to be more involved I would jump at the chance. But that's not down to me, I'd love to have the opportunity. I think it becomes easier the more you do it, having experienced it first hand it is a very difficult job, though Nigel, Kelvin and Chris make it look easy. Given the chance I would love to be more involved, but even if it's just once a year I'd be more than happy to continue doing that."
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