A YOUNG martial arts expert looks set to make his mark at the European Youth Olympics as they draw to a close this week.
Max Murphy (16) flew out to Trabzon, Turkey, with 10 fellow judo members of the GB Squad to compete against 49 other European countries.
The Bearsden black belt has been a member of Pro:judo who have classes at Allander Leisure, for the past seven years and is hoping to come home with a medal, even though the competition will be tough.
Head coach at Pro:judo Brian Long said Max could come back with a medal as long as he “gets a good break.”
He said: “He medalled at the British Championships last year in Sheffield when he broke his collar bone in his first fight, and won it the previous year.
“Max is so dynamic and fast and he believes in himself, so if he gets the opportunity can be a formidable fighter.”
The Bearsden Academy pupil has been struggling with a number of injuries he received over the last couple of years which have hampered his chances of competing.
As well as his broken collar bone, since 2009 his hips have been knocked out of alignment, had a broken nose, damage to his wrist and had two front teeth knocked out.
However the judo expert has not let this stop him and is one of only two fighters from Scotland in the British contingent that went to the week-long event.
Max’s dad Paul said his son was given a wild card entry to the tournament in Turkey as he has struggled with his various injuries.
He said: “Max competes in the under 73kg, under 17 category and will need to get through five or six contests to be in with a chance of winning.”
What was most important, reckoned Paul, was that Max really enjoyed judo.
He added: “He is naturally very good and just to get to the event is an achievement in itself.”
According to Long, if Max continues the way he has been he could compete in the Brazillian Olympics in 2016.
He said: “By that time he would have the experience and strength to compete at world class level in Rio de Janeiro.”