Champions League Men | 3 Sep 2014
Everybody has a chance in 2014/15 WECL
Everybody believes that Fenerbahce is clear favorite in 2014/15 Women’s European Champions League which starts this Friday, but manager of Turkish champion Gurhan YALDIZ disagree with them: “I hope this season will be pleasure for all table tennis w
Everybody believes that Fenerbahce is clear favorite in 2014/15 Women’s European Champions League which starts this Friday, but manager of Turkish champion Gurhan YALDIZ disagree with them: “I hope this season will be pleasure for all table tennis world. I think there are very strong and difficult teams in WECL. All teams have a chance to be champion in this season. We like to start with good result, we are lucky that we are home team in opening round and I believe my players have enough power to win this match. Good luck for all teams”.
Fenerbahce plays its second WECL season in a row, finishing last one as a runner-up, behind Berlin Eastside. Turkish side is now more careful knowing that even last year they were considered as the no. 1 favorite. The club signed three strong names, WU Yang (actual no. 5 on ITTF World ranking list) and WEN Jia from China, and good defensive German player Irene IVANCAN (she had a big role in Berlin’s 2013/14 title), individual silver medalist from 2011 LIEBHERR European Championship. One more new face is Russian Yana NOSKOVA. Two times gold single’s medalist from ECH, Viktoria PAVLOVICH and Elizabeta SAMARA start their new season in Istanbul. So, coach Davit SARGSYAN will surely have more options than his colleagues in new WECL edition.
The 2013/14 finalist Fenerbahce opens season against 2011/12 runner-up SVNO STROCK (Group A, September 7th, 13h30 CET). They met in group stage last year and the score was 1-1 (Austrian side lost away 3:1 and won 3:2 at home). STROCK`s president and manager Martin SOROS` strategy was this summer to invest in the future, taking two promising players: Dora MADARASZ (Hungary, 21 year old) and Lea RAKOVAC (Croatia, 18). Of course, Daniela DODEAN-MONTEIRO should have again her precious role in the team. Three more registered players are: Tamiolwan KHETKUEN, Matilda EKHOLM and Tetyana BILENKO.
Other game in Group A will be between 2012/13 ETTU Cup finalist Zamek, leaded by member of German national team HAN Ying who had an impressive 2014/15 WECL season, and newcomer from Hungary Szekszard (September 5th, 18h00 CET).
“This edition of Champions League seems to be more equal than last year, and of course it means more difficult for us. We wish not to be the last in the group and for all others places we will be thankful”, emphasized Zbigniew NECEK, Zamek`s coach and manager.
Group B has two title pretenders, clubs which already lifted the trophy twice: Linz AG Froschberg (2009, 2013) and Berlin Eastside (2012, 2014). Austrian side expects Metz TT (September 5th, 18h00 CET), will Irina PALINA`s squad hosts team in the Hungarian Postas Sport Egyesuelt which is coming back on the main European club’s stage after seven years.
“With great joy we returned to the European Champions League, where we were in 2007, the last time semifinalists. This year, it is known that we were eighth team in the seeding list, so I expected to have the equivalent of our role. One up to 2 victories would be an exceptional feat in the team. In addition of the world-class name LI Jiao, our Hungarian talented players who are capable of a good performance in a match”, said Gábor ROSTÁS, president of Postás Budapest.
Linz always has the biggest possible aim. LIU Jia and Iveta VACENOVSKA know very well the way to the trophies, 20 year-old Sofia POLCANOVA showed significant improvement in last season, whilst Chinese LI Xiaodan will try to put new energy in the team leaded by coach BIAN Yadong.
Triple crowned Berlin (German League and Cup winner, and WECL champion in 2014/15) already presented its expectations through the interview of its coach Irina PALINA. No doubt that SHAN Xiaona & Company will fight for the top.
French Metz will try to something more than in previous season when well experienced Yunli SCHREINER secured some important wins. Former individual European Champion WU Jiaduo will be supported in new season by world’s no. 19. YU Fu.
The 2014/15 WECL Round 1
GROUP A: Fenerbahce – SVNO STROCK (September 7th, 13h30 CET); KTS Spar Zamek Tarnobrzeg – Szekszard AC (September 5th, 18h00 CET, live on LAOLA1.tv).
GROUP B: Linz AG Froschberg – Metz TT (September 5th, 18h00 CET); TTC Berlin Eastside – Postas Sport Egyesulet (September 5th, 19h30 CET)