From Waitrose to Oakwell: the strange story of Barnsley fooballer Jordan Green
From stacking shelves to becoming a professional footballer, Barnsley winger Jordan Green has had a whirlwind few years.
The 24-year-old failed to make the grade at Fulham and was released at the age of 16, leaving him in the football wilderness.
But Green never stopped believing and, having juggled playing football alongside working in a supermarket, the hard work finally paid off in 2015.
Green was signed by Bournemouth following a successful trial and was given the chance to learn his trade during loan spells at Newport and Leyton Orient.
Opportunities to break into Eddie Howe's first-team squad were blocked by a wealth of top-class players as the Cherries became a household Premier League name.
Green left Bournemouth in August 2017 to join Yeovil, arriving at Championship-chasing Barnsley in January.
“Literally, it is surreal. When I was younger, I got released at 16 and from 16 to 20, I was not in professional football," he said.
"It was just about trying to keep motivated and keep pushing to get as high as possible.
"I was working at Waitrose and tried to play football at weekends as much as possible. I heard about the Bournemouth trial and every day, I tried as much as possible to give myself the best opportunity. Fortunately, it paid off. 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 trial at Bournemouth. All my life, all I have thought about is being a footballer. Where I am from, there are not many options, so you have to make it."
Green scored four goals for League Two strugglers Yeovil earlier this season, with his injection of pace attracting the attention of Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel as he looked to replace Brad Potts, who left for Preston.
Green is still finding his way at a League One club gunning for promotion, making three substitute appearances so far.
But, from what he has seen so far, he is confident his new employers can get the job done and make an immediate return to the Championship.
“I am used to being outside my comfort zone and I love it here at Barnsley. I cannot believe how everything has turned out," he said.
“Coming here has been an eye-opener in terms of the future. Just the number of staff there are and the attention to detail.