The European Champions League draw has been made in Saarbrucken, Germany and this year there’s the chance that both the English number 1 and number 2 will be involved.
Liam Pitchford’s team TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen will again take part in the Champions League with new signing, 2004 Olympic Champion, Ryu Seung Min added to their ranks.
There’s no Andrej Gacina this year so Pitchford will be the number four behind Seung Min, Tiago Apolonia and Kirill Skachkov.
Meanwhile, Paul Drinkhall, newly signed for SV Werder Bremen, will take his place alongside fellow new face Chuang Chih Yuan – who signed from Levallois and Romanian number 1 Adrian Crisan.
The draw itself kept the German clubs apart so Pitchford’s Ochsenhausen will play in Group B against Chartres (France) and El Nino Praha (Czech Republic) while Drinkhall’s Werder Bremen will join Group C with last year’s losing finalists UMMC (Russia) as well as Pontoise (France).
The new season starts on September 7-10th with the majority of matches live on the ETTU table tennis channel Laola1.tv and there might just be the chance of watching our top English players compete in this prestigious European competition.
Interestingly, the last English player to play in the Champions League was England number 11 Damien Nicholls.
Nicholls was called up to his French side, Pontoise, in February to play against the eventual winners Fakel of Gazprom, Orenburg (Russia). He had the small task of facing both Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Alexey Smirnov after French player Adrien Mattenet pulled out through injury.
More details on the Champions League draw can be found here