Star Tigers recruit James Roberts has revealed he considered walking away from rugby league amid an emotional 2020 season that saw the former Souths speedster grapple with demons from his past.
Roberts had a trying season – marred by injury amid the already taxing conditions of a global pandemic, the 28-year-old spent time in rehab to get on top of his mental health.
Sidelined for South Sydney and with a bleak outlook, Roberts revealed he was a whisker away from walking away from the game for good.
“I was just thinking about throwing it all in and giving up and getting a normal job, just get away from everything,” Roberts told Nine News.
“I was just going through the motions. I didn’t love myself. I just had no self-belief by the end of it and just didn’t know what I was doing really. I was just lost.
“I’m always going to have those demons and my childhood traumas are going to pop up now and then, I’ve just got to stay on top of them.
“That’s something I’m working on now, just my mental illness stuff and just talking about whatever is bothering me and trying to be as happy as I can be.”
With a new lease on footy and great opportunity under former coach Michael Maguire at Wests Tigers, Roberts said he was excited to re-ignite his career and get back to basics.
“I wanted to start over again I guess and I wanted to be challenged. Be around a younger group and work my way back into the team again and get out of my comfort zone.
“I know he’s [Maguire] going to challenge me and push me to where I want to go, I just need to buy into it as well.”
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