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Champions League Men - 11 Nov 2013

A new spirit in the Women’s league

Unique unbeaten team after first four rounds of 2013/14 Women`s European Champions League is the reigning champion Linz AG Froschberg. The 14-time Austrian champion (1998-2010, 2013) is spending five weeks break on the top of Group B, having all eight poi

Unique unbeaten team after first four rounds of 2013/14 Women`s European Champions League is the reigning champion Linz AG Froschberg. The 14-time Austrian champion (1998-2010, 2013) is spending five weeks break on the top of Group B, having all eight points and impressive 12-1 individual game ratio. Coach BIAN Yadong, LIU Jia, Iveta VACENOVSKA, Petrissa SOLJA and Sofia POLCANOVA already booked ticket for semi final, and in next two round`s matches will play against Zamek at home (December 6th) and Budaorsi away (December 20th). Linz president Gunther RENNER was commenting the previous 2013/2014 WECL rounds and how he sees the competition in the near future…

- First, how do you comment first four rounds of WECL, the results of your club and WECL in total?
“Well, the WECL is now the best Women Team Event I ever saw. The average level is above the level of “normal” professionals. Every woman here is a champion in its country, continents or in youth table tennis. I think they deserved to get more and more respect for their enduring performance. What I see is also, the Champions League has got a new future, because the good and hopeful players can get necessary experiences there, and the actual top players can keep their standard”.

- How do you see the role of SOLJA this season, knowing that she is getting better and better?
“Her role is the nr. 3 position, still. She is on a good way, because she feels to be on the right place in Linz, either on professional and human point of view. Nobody knows the future but there are problems on the way in every young sports career. The question is how Petrissa will deal with that… That will be deciding for her game. It`s the same with Sofia POLCANOVA, she is in distance with Petrissa, but she needs to realize that she has to fight to get her position in the team”.

- Who is your biggest rival in battle for new WECL title and why?
“I wish to play in semi finals against SVS STRÖCK, and in finals against Berlin. I can not make a preview, because it`s very close in the Group A. We could also loose in semis, everything is possible”.

- Please compare this WECL season with previous, regarding to quality of the games and teams…
“I see a new spirit in the teams. I know the most players for years, but this year, they show their best possible game. Nobody can imagine how happy I am that the league is so strong. I hope in the future there will be more and more clubs trying to compete in this wonderful league. The benefits are clear, you have more matches at home and the name of the league is a strong promoter. I know that some teams are not playing there because the official requirements for the hosts are too high. So, maybe we can change that a little bit to help upcoming teams to take place in Europe`s elite league”.

- How do you see WECL in future and do you have any proposal to have even stronger competition?
“First we want to congratulate the new ETTU directors and at first the new President KRAMER. I see some specific points. We hope that the new possibilities through the TMS contract bring new chances and also prize money for the Champions League. Through prize money you can guarantee that the motivated teams can get some money back if they are engaged well. It`s also a big story for the press to talk about an event in which you can really win “something” beside the honor. That was the biggest problem in the past years, a good team like Heerlen, Busenbach, Kroppach and so on could financially not compete for a longer period with lower classified teams, just because their players were better and more expensive. We also hope to get some TV coverage on Eurosport to bring our strong and beautiful sport to its peak of attention”.

- You consider that the quality of the league is more important than winning it every year.
“We will try to win this and the next years, but I hope to have thrilling matches in the best “not-Asian” league in women’s Table Tennis sports. I also have to say, that I think we (Women Champions League Teams) need to be entitled to vote in matters of our league. It`s the same for ETTU Cup Teams and in men`s ECL and ETTU Cup. I hope there will be an open discussion with the new leading members of the ETTU, how to bring the future closer to the present. At the end I want to invite everybody to communicate with me, we are working very strong to have the best women players practicing from time to time in Linz. I have to say that we are preparing a very close partnership with Walter Wels (Men`s Champions League team) to have the best youth boys and girls in Linz&Wels”.


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