AS UPLIFTING stories in football go, the tale of Jordan Green is hard to beat.
Hailing from the tough South London district of New Cross, Barnsley’s new signing – jettisoned for being too small during his time at Fulham’s academy – climbed back up the footballing ladder the hard way.
After going to college and putting his football career on hold, Green found himself stacking shelves at a supermarket on long and laborious night shifts to make ends meet, but his dream of making the grade never faded.
The Londoner subsequently earned his spurs in a spell in non-league football at Oxfordshire outfit Banbury United ahead of a move back into the professional realm at Bournemouth.
The quicksilver winger later moved to Yeovil where he started to carve out a niche as a handy lower-division winger of repute and now he has found a route to Barnsley.
It is clear that the Reds have not only landed a talent, but also a strong individual capable of being self-sufficient.
Green said: “You always have to keep the possibility of making it in your mind to stay on track. When I was working at Waitrose I did not know what was going to happen, but I did think something would happen; it was weird.
“I was doing night shifts, while I had to drive up to Banbury and play, and at the end of that I had a two-week trail at Bournemouth.
“All my life all I have thought about is being a footballer. Where I am from there are not many choice options, so you have to make it.
“I am used to being outside my comfort zone and I love it here at Barnsley. I cannot believe how everything has turned out.
“Coming here has been an eye-opener in terms of the future. Just the number of staff there are and the attention to detail.
“The lower you go, the harder it is to get to where you want to get to.
“But you really have to focus the lower you go. Everything is on you.
“It is all just character-building. I think football is more mental than physical and it has all helped me.
“Everyone has seen where I have come from and they are proud of me.”
Green has swapped a Football League survival fight at Yeovil for a promotion tilt at Barnsley and the 23-year-old is intent on making his mark over the coming weeks as the Reds seek to continue their eye-catching recent form and make a strong push for automatic promotion.
Green added: “Literally it is surreal. Yeovil are down at the bottom of League Two and coming to a promotion-chasing side is massive. One hundred per cent we can do it this season.”