Greens versus Rest?

FAMILY CONTENDERS: Darren Green and his kids Lockie, Hayden, Shaina and Tahnee and are all playing in the Bundaberg Table Tennis Closed Championships this weekend. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FAMILY CONTENDERS: Darren Green and his kids Lockie, Hayden, Shaina and Tahnee and are all playing in the Bundaberg Table Tennis Closed Championships this weekend. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN210814TCC4

EVERY day through the floorboards of Darren Green's childhood home his parents could hear the rhythmic sound of a ping pong ball on a paddle - when he got home from school, and as soon as he was excused from dinner.

With the table set up between the stumps of a high-set Queenslander, Green and his brother Jeff had barely half-a-metre to work in and they played for hours each day. And because he played in the tight confines under the house, Green's reflexes were sharpened.

At the height of his powers, Green defeated Australian Open winner Dennis Makaling in 1987 thanks to his ability to move quickly.

He took leave from the sport in 2000, but now thanks to his children becoming involved, he is back and recapturing some winning form.

Green will go into the men's draw of the Bundaberg Closed Championships this weekend as top seed and he won't be the only player with that surname in with a chance of winning a title.

Three of his seven children will join him at the tables, two of his daughters, Shaina (15) and Tahnee (10), and one of his sons, Hayden (13), and all four of the Greens are in with a chance.

Along with Green, Shaina, Tahnee and Hayden his youngest son, Lucas, has picked up a paddle, meaning the same sounds his parent could hear are being repeated, not that Green minds one bit.

"They live for it, Hayden hasn't dropped a match in seven tournaments this year and the girls are both Queensland doubles titles winners," Green said.

"They are always practising - they are enjoying themselves when they are making noise."

Hayden wants to be in the top five Australian players for his age, while Shaina and Tahnee are aiming to be in the top 10. And if the trio's father's recent results are anything to go by, they will all reach their goals.

After success at the state veterans championships, Green was picked in the Queensland team to travel to Hobart for the national championships in October when he will be playing the over-30 and over-40 singles and the over-40 doubles.

But first his goal is a win in his hometown.

Green said his form was better this year but he knows the Bundaberg men's open singles championship that he lost to John Fourro in 2013 will be tough to win.

"If I play well I am reasonably confident I can win - I am playing better this year," he said.

"It will be very competitive and the other players are in with a chance."

Topics:  table tennis

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