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Champions League Men - 1 Sep 2013

25 mln fans supporting Turkish dream team


Turkish champion opens its very first WECL chapter on its soil, against 2012 finalist, Austrian SVS STROCK (September 7th, 13h30). Playing with same line-up winning ETTU Cup five months ago: Viktoria PAVLOVICH (no. 15) – two times (2010, 2012) individual

Turkish champion opens its very first WECL chapter on its soil, against 2012 finalist, Austrian SVS STROCK (September 7th, 13h30). Playing with same line-up winning ETTU Cup five months ago: Viktoria PAVLOVICH (no. 15) – two times (2010, 2012) individual gold medalist of European Championships and current champion of Old Continent, Elisabeta SAMARA (no. 19) – two times quarter finalist of ECH, and HU Melek (no. 37) – the 2010 EC individual bronze medalist.

Table Tennis Club Fenerbahce was Turkish Super League champion and Turkish Cup winner in the last 5 years and ETTU Cup champion in the last 2 seasons. It`s a member of super strong family of Fanerbahce Sport Club which have more than 1,500 players in all sports (basketball, volleyball, table tennis, boxing, roving, swimming, football, athletics), around 100 coaches and many halls: for 15,000 people basketball, for 55,000 football stadium, for 5,000 volleyball… Each sport has its own hall for practice in Istanbul. The club is founded in 1907, becoming the biggest one in Turkey, with around 25 million supporters.

“This year we have decided to play the Women’s European Champions League. We think this throphy is more important, more prestigious, and there are more strong teams. We have been playing for 7-8 years in ETTU Cup and we think that is quite enough experience for this event”, emphasized Fenerbahce`s team manager Gürhan YALDIZ who expects new successful season for his side: “We expect to have good relationship with the good and strong teams. But also – good advertisement, strong sponsors, to provide successful results to Turkish table tennis world.”

Gurhan YALDIZ has no dilemma what Fenerbahce must do in upcoming season: “At the very beginning we would like to reach half final and maybe the final. Of course, the main goal is to be WECL champion”.

- How close are connections of table tennis with Football Club Fenerbahce?
“We have 8 different branches in FB club as amateur sports except football. We are totally different from football but we have very close relation with the other sports in FB club. As you know football is always different and more popular all around the world.”

- How big is the club`s hall and how many spectators do you expect on your WECL games?
“We have not so big hall but we expect our club will arrange a big hall in next year. So we have around more than 500 spectators in our all matches.”

- What do you know about your WECL opponents in the super strong Group A (2012 champion Berlin Eastside, 2012 finalist SVS STROCK and Metz)?
“We have played with some clubs before in ETTU Cup matches and we haven’t got so much experience with the others, but as we know, all teams are very strong and have enough experience in this cup. I think all matches will be very difficult and very close so it means all of them will be very exciting and tasteful for the spectators.”

Do you agree with many people that Fenerbahce is top favorite for the WECL title?
“They are right and they know how powerful and how experienced our team is. We think we give enough confidence by being the champion in two recent years.”

- What is Fenerbahce`s long time strategy?
“We would like to stay permanently in WECL with strong and good teams, and to continue being champions in WECL. We are thinking on organizing a good men`s team too for the European cups. We are very ambitious and we would like to be always in top in Europe”.

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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