Roller hockey star picked for State Wars trip

A young roller hockey star is desperately fund-raising to allow her sporting success to keep rolling all the way to a major US competition.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 4:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 6:01 pm
Ellie Green (front) with Glossopdale Devils clubmates who are also going to America

Ellie Green, from Whelley, has been picked for Team UK to compete in the massive State Wars roller hockey tournament in Michigan.

The 13-year-old netminder has only been playing the sport for around three years but has made extraordinary progress, lining up for Glossopdale Devils’ junior sides and even keeping goal in an elite ladies league against adult players.

Her hard work and talent has been rewarded with a trip Stateside alongside several of her club team mates, with Ellie thought to be making history as the first under-12s woman from England to play in goal at State Wars.

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Proud dad Anthony Green, 36, said: “She’s picked it up really quickly and progressed. She’s just gone from strength to strength and we’re all really proud of her. She started going to Wigan Roller Rink when she was about 10 and got chatting to other kids who were playing roller hockey. She actually started as an outfield player but soon ended up in goal.

“She’s a bit nervous about going to the States which isn’t like Ellie at all but I think she often plays better when she’s a bit nervous. Her first Super League match she was a bit worried but she smashed it and had a really good game.

“Obviously we’re doing all we can to support her but there’s absolutely no funding for roller hockey. We’ve even got to buy the shirt she’s playing in.

“There’s flights, fees: everything has to be paid for. I’m hoping local businesses could be interested in sponsoring her and having their logo on her kit.”

Ellie’s rapid rise through the roller hockey ranks has also meant a dramatic increase in the amount of travelling she has to do.

Match days with Glossopdale involve a three-hour round trip to Rotherham, although training is at least closer to home at Atherton Roller Rink, and she has also been as far afield as Dundee this season playing in tournaments.

She also gets to hone her skills further with a different type of skate as she is also netminder for ice hockey side Blackburn Junior Hawks.

Anthony said: “She’s really enjoying it and is doing a lot of training at the moment, wherever she can get to really. At the moment it’s five days a week.

“To get to something like State Wars it doesn’t matter if you are travelling here there and everywhere, it’s all totally worth it. She puts the efort in and is getting the reward out.”

Roller hockey is set to become even more of a family affair in the Green household as Ellie’s younger sister Sophia, eight, has begun training with Glossopdale Devils too.

Ellie’s coach Malcolm Tilly spoke of his pride at how many young Wiganers from the club will be travelling to State Wars.

He said: “We’ve got about half a dozen players from Glossopdale who have been selected across the different age groups.

“State Wars is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to experience an international tournament. Those who went last year definitely brought that little bit more experience to their club play.

“We’re chuffed for all those who have been selected.

“Ellie has done phenomenally well considering she only started about three years ago.”

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