Tom Brennan reckons he is better prepared than ever for the start of a speedway season.

Whenever that might eventually be.

That’s saying something when you consider what the Eastbourne racer, still only 18, has gone through since last May.

Brennan spent two days in an induced coma after a horror smash at Arlington when racing against Glasgow.

He suffered a triple break to his right leg, followed by complications involving his lungs.

That ruled him out of the rest of the domestic season in only his ninth meeting, though he had hoped to back for the last few weeks.

There have been tough times since then and mental challenges. He readily admits that.

The psychological side of getting back on the bike with three rivals has been the hardest part.

He found work away from speedway to see him through the long months with no points money.

But he has got there – in plenty of time to be chomping at the bit as we await the green light for 2020.

Recovery has been down to hard work, some valuable back-up from Team GB and a trip to Australia.

He also thanks the No Limits development programme, particularly Rory Schlein, and the Poultec academy, of which he has been a part during his rise of recent years.

Now a first full season at Championship level beckons – and a few other notable targets too.

Brennan, based just north of Brighton in the village of Hassocks, said: “Recovery was a pretty long process.

“Initially when the crash happened it wasn’t much of a problem. Obviously a broken leg but it wasn’t anything life-threatening.

“Then, I think it was the Sunday night, I fell asleep ready for my operation on the Monday and I had a really bad problem breathing.

“Next thing you know, the operation was off and I had to get through that.

“It was something about bone going into my lungs and then I wasn’t able to breathe. Then obviously that caused other things.

“My operation for my leg got held back so it was pretty tough.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t heal as fast as I would have liked to. I had a problem with the rods and pins and stuff like that.

“It was just a case of resting but trying to keep fit as well.

“That was mainly down to No Limits and everybody at that camp. Poultec kept me going through the recovery.”

The goal for Brennan was the British Under-19s Championship, which was decided three months almost to the day after his smash against Glasgow. But that proved to be out of reach.

So season over. But the chance to ride in Australia beckoned and that was where he got a real eye-opener into how tough it would be to return to competitive racing.

It is a hurdle he would otherwise have had to get over when the Eastbourne season starts.

He scored a modest five points from as many heats in the Jack Young Cup at Gillman in November – six months after his injury.

That was followed by four second places for eight points from five rides at the same circuit in the South Australia title meeting.

But all the time he was winning his own personal battle.

He said: “I went to Rye House and Eastbourne for two practice days before Australia to get back on the bike.

“It was only a couple of weeks before I went out to Australia that I actually got told I was going.

“It was a bit of a surprise and it was like, ‘Should I do it? Am I ready?’.

“Luckily enough I was fit enough and was told I was clear and I went out there.

“My first Australian meeting was my first time back racing at all.

“That was my first time out there on a track with three other people.

“I have to be honest, I struggled with the mental side of things to start with.

“I had a few rusty and nervy meetings to start off with but, by the end of the trip, it had come around.

“I definitely wasn’t 100% by any means but I was feeling myself again.

“But there was definitely a big mental side to it - more than anything physical.

“It’s different for everyone. Some people come back from injury and don’t feel like they have even been away.

“It was definitely tricky for me. There wasn’t really one moment that changed it.

“It was just about getting more time on the bike.

“I just needed that time to start thinking, ‘Oh, this isn’t too bad!’ and getting a bit more confidence.

“Confidence in speedway is everything. It was just for me a case of ‘Keep going’ and not giving up and trying to get through it.

“I was there for six or seven weeks or so. I did about five meetings and about five practice days so it kept me going.

“It was more or less once a week, which was awesome really for that time of year.

“I was at Mildura, Gillman and others – well-prepared tracks. They are more of the bigger tracks, pretty slick but they are good.

“It felt very good to be racing people on tracks like that.

“As soon as I got back from Australia I thought ‘I’ve just got to keep going’ because the worst thing I could have done was to stop.

“I have been to practice days, mainly at Rye House.

“A few weeks ago I had a training day with Team GB, which was amazing, at Leicester.

“I had six days there and the following day I had a training day at Leicester with Rory Schlein. So, as of late, I have been quite busy really.

“Everything I have been offered or been asked to do, I’ve taken it with both hands.”

Brennan felt revitalised in those weeks leading up to what should have been Eastbourne’s season-opener at home to Poole.

He said: “I’ve felt good. Practice is great but you need to make it purposeful instead of just going around doing laps and laps.

“You need to be working on little things which will help you when the season starts so you are sharp, you are strong mentally, everything.

“But I didn’t get a meeting in anywhere before the shutdown.

“You can’t go out and ride now but it’s the same for everybody.

“It just has been about trying to do as much as I can at home.

“Running, mainly cycling at the moment on the machine.

“And then I have been sent through Team GB videos and photos and video conferences which have helped me a lot with my fitness. I am trying to keep as busy as I can.”

Brennan is thrilled to be part of the Team GB set-up and can already see the benefits.

Asked whether he could figure in international action this year, he said: “Potentially. Nothing has been said now but I would definitely be a part of meetings, in what way I don’t know.

“It is a squad system so hopefully – but definitely for the under-21s, I’m pretty hopeful my name would be in there. But it just goes on whoever is going well.”

Schlein has also been a big help.

“He is the guy who can come out on the track and tell you how to do things and help with your fitness,” is how Brennan puts it.

“It’s always nice to have someone who has done it and knows his stuff.”

All that is needed now is some proper speedway action - at last.

He admitted: “It hasn’t just been the past few weeks I haven’t been able to ride.

“It has pretty much been the last year I have been out of work.

“A few months ago I went working for a roofing firm.

“I quit as soon as the season was about to start, thinking I would be racing again.

“Now I am just sat here, really!

“Everyone wants to be the best they can be and I am better prepared than I have ever been at the start of a year.

“Even though I have had almost a year out, I feel as there or thereabouts as I have ever been, especially with all this help from Team GB. It has been amazing.

“Most days now I go out into the workshop and look at how I can do different things.

“It is just really looking at the bikes and trying to figure things out.

“Then you also know your equipment is really sharp and you are ready to go.

“That’s a big thing, that mindset of you’re ready, you’re organised, you can go and race.”

It’s a small sample size but an average of 6.54 including bonuses from the start of his debut Championship season suggests he will be just fine at that level.

But, if and when we get up and running, there are other targets to consider.

He said: “I am definitely aiming for the under-19 and under-21 British titles. That would be my ultimate goal.

“But mainly just to try and enjoy myself and get a top-league spot, that would be a big thing.

“Try and have a good year at Eastbourne – and a consistent year.”