Glory for Green on national stage

Josh Green, No.12, and his triumphant south east England under-15 boys side
Josh Green, No.12, and his triumphant south east England under-15 boys side
Josh Green in action for England under-17s at the NEVZA Championshi. Picture: Hamistolen Photography

Green buoyant after his first international abroad

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Josh Green is the pride of Portsmouth after claiming national glory with south east England boys under-15s team in the Inter Regional Championships.

The Horndean Technology College student, who plays for national league side Horndean as well as training with Purbrook-based South Hants volleyball club, enjoyed success at the prestigious University of East London event earlier this month.

Representing his region, Green was part of a real underdogs triumph as home favourites London were toppled in an enthralling three-set final.

It was a fantastic achievement, made all the more remarkable by the fact that Green was one of three team members aged just 14.

Mum Francine Wells was quick to put the exciting prospect’s triumph into context.

She said: ‘Josh is 14, so he is actually one of the youngest members of the south east England under-15 boys side.

‘When people think of volleyball, they tend to think of very tall people, with their knowledge mostly limited to beach volleyball!

‘But Josh is really quite small – he is a setter and it is his job to be all over the court.

‘He plays for Horndean Volleyball club and is also part of the junior set -up at South Hants Volleyball club.

‘But he was the only one from the Portsmouth area to make the south east of England side.

‘Naturally, London being the capital city and hosts of the Inter Regionals Championships were absolutely the strongest area for volleyball.

‘The south east of England side are no less talented, but they proved themselves to be more obstinate and that was the story of the day.

‘Josh is very quiet in his manner but was very proud of his achievements, as am I.’

The competition was played in a pools format, and unbeaten London advanced to the final without dropping a set, having already inflicted defeat on south east England earlier in the tournament.

Recovering from that loss to end the group stage as second-ranked team, south east England duly took their revenge on the tournament favourites, though, to secure an unexpected title.

And it was done in the most dramatic of fashion with a 15-13 winning margin in a decisive, final set to secure the title.

Wells said: ‘It was a blood and thunder affair and firmly in the balance at one-set all.

‘It went to a third and decisive set with the winners the first to get to 15 points with two clear points.

‘But it was south east England who took it, which was quite incredible

‘Even Josh’s coach couldn’t comprehend that they had actually won.’

Green, who was re-presented with his medal at South Hants volleyball training has been backed to have a bright future in the sport.

Wells added: ‘He was very proud when he went to his South Hants junior training on Saturday morning,

‘They re-presented him with his medal which was quite something.

‘It was meant to be a bit of an inspiration to some of the other kids so that they can see what can happen.

‘He has already appeared in a men’s national league game for Horndean as well, so he has got a great future if he chooses to stay in sport and dedicate himself to training.’