BRAVE Nathan Hayward feels “like a new man” after reaching out over his mental health problems ­— now he is keen to help others do the same.

The Bromsgrove Sporting midfielder has lifted the lid on battling his demons while with Worcester City last season ahead of facing his former club in tonight’s Worcestershire FA Senior Urn semi-final at the Victoria Ground (7.45).

Worcester-based Hayward, 27, paid tribute to City manager John Snape and football secretary Kevin Preece for their understanding while he started the counselling that “changed my life”.

And having flourished on the pitch since, being voted player of the month for October in a poll of Rouslers fans, Hayward revealed a desire to aid those enduring personal problems of their own.

“I have had problems with my mental health since childhood, certain things went on that I could not control when I was a kid and I did not deal with them properly until last season,” said Hayward.

“My mental health had started to deteriorate so I decided to do something about it. I started counselling and began to find myself again.

“It is really important for people who suffer with these problems to know that counselling and talking about everything is the best thing you can do. I feel like a new man now.

“If you’re struggling and feel like you’re on your own, you’re not. The best thing to do is speak up and go to see someone. It has changed my life for the better.

“Anyone who wants advice can drop me a message, I am more than willing to help out and talk about my experiences.

“It has helped my football. Ever since addressing these issues I find I can focus on my game instead of everything else going on in my head.

“It is not just football, it has changed my life in so many ways.

“I used to go to work worried or feeling stressed about anything and everything. That doesn’t happen any more, I go to football without any pressure and I can enjoy the game like I should.

“My family and close friends have been amazing, they were there when I needed them and helped me to get through it.

“Snapper and the likes of Kev offered me support at Worcester and everyone at Bromsgrove has made me feel so welcome from day one.

“I feel at home at Bromsgrove, I am loving life here and things are very good.”

Ground-sharing City play the role of hosts to their landlords in a semi-final tie that will decide who faces Highgate United in the county showpiece.

“I’m not sure what the gaffer’s plans in terms of team selection are but either way I’ll be there and it will be good to catch up with everyone at Worcester,” added Hayward.

“My focus is on Bromsgrove but at the same time I would like to see City do well.”