Japan and Guernsey feature heavily in tennis teen’s Max Galins’ make up.
Yet Leeds is where the heart is for a youngster hoping to prove a smash hit for Yorkshire and England.
Galins, 15, is ranked number one in Yorkshire for his age group and 37th in Britain yet both Guernsey and Japan feature prominently in the youngster’s success story.
Mum Yuko originated from the Land Of The Rising Sun and after Max’s birth in Leeds – the family later settled in the Channel Islands owing to dad Mark’s hotel business interests in Guernsey. Continuing the global feel, Galins’ older brother James, 25, went to university in Canada and now lives in Japan.
But the rest of the Galins family are now back in Yorkshire with the family’s teen tennis star saying his game has gone from strength-to-strength since returning to ‘God’s Country’ and joining the The Grammar School at Leeds aged 12.
Galins, who trains at Leeds Met Carnegie University, is proud of his Japanese roots but he’s already hell bent on representing England on a tennis court and the next stages of reaching that goal will come in Leeds.
“My mum’s Japanese and I’m proud of my background,” Galins told the YEP.
“I speak two languages so that’s pretty good!
“And Japanese tennis is not bad but I’ll probably play for England as that would be better. Japan have got a guy in the top 20 – Kei Nishikori – and he’s good. It’s doing all right is Japanese tennis but he’s probably not as good as Murray. It depends how Murray plays.
“My tennis is going well and it’s better for my tennis up here in Leeds definitely.
“I’m doing mock GCSEs at the moment – my GCSEs start next year – and with my tennis we go all over and round Europe some times. We’ve been to France and Spain and it’s hard juggling it with school – you need to catch up a lot – but my school are great as I probably do about 16 or 17 hours of tennis a week.”
That dedication is yielding rewards with former Ilkley Tennis Club ace Galins quietly satisfied with his rise up the tennis ranks. Galins is the county’s number one tennis player aged 16 and under and joint 37th in the country but the youngster has aspirations to be considerably higher.
“Things are going all right and I’ve just gone into the under-16s category,” said Galins. “I’m ranked 40th or something so that’s pretty good for my age and I’m pretty happy with where I am. But I feel I can go higher in these next couple of months. After my GCSEs I will probably for have a year just training full-time tennis and if it’s going well I will continue like that.
“If I’m not doing as well as I thought I would then I’ll probably go back into my studies and maybe go to America.”
Older brother James will be on hand to offer advice on life on the other side of the pond – and younger brother George, 12, has also played his key part in Galins’ tennis development.
After temporarily quitting the game a few years ago, it was on seeing his younger brother begin to excel that provided the inspiration for a return.
Galins explained: “George is not playing much at the moment but he was good at one time – he was first in the county about two years for under-10s.
“I’m sure he’ll take it up again as he only quit a couple of months ago.
“I quit when I was about nine and I didn’t come back until I was about 10 or 11.
“Then I just started playing a lot. I don’t know why I stopped but I was younger and I wanted to try other sports.
“But my little brother played still and when I saw him playing I got back into it.
“He was catching me up!”