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European Table Tennis coming to Dublin – THIS TUESDAY! (27th Feb)

22 February 2018

European Table Tennis coming to Dublin – THIS TUESDAY! (27th Feb)

This month Ireland’s Men’s team will again do battle on the European stage in Dublin.

1 year on from the European League weekend in Dublin, which saw Irelands Men’s team clinch promotion to the second division at the European championships, Ireland will again be given the opportunity to host an international fixture in February!

The European Table Tennis Union have decided to change the qualification format for the European Championships with teams now having to participate and perform in the European League in order to qualify for the Championships. Ireland have been drawn in a group with San Marino, Lithuania & Azerbaijan, 3 teams that our men are no strangers in coming up against. The group will entail of three home, and three away fixtures for Ireland with the first of those coming this month.

This month will see the Irish Men’s team take on San Marino in the first of the three home European League fixtures. The date for the clash is 27th of February in Blackrock College, Dublin in what is sure to be a great spectacle for all involved. Play will commence at 7:30pm. The hall will be open to the public from 6:30pm as the teams go through their warm ups. Entry is free!

The team for the home match will consist of five players. Some of the household names of the Irish Men’s team will not be present in a decision by coach John Murphy to allow some of the younger players an opportunity to force themselves into his plans for the Men’s team. The team will consist of Gavin Maguire, Owen Cathcart, Ryan Farrell, Alexander Gillen & a first time call up for the impressive youngster Art McLaughlin.

Table Tennis Ireland’s National Coach John Murphy had the following to say when asked for his thoughts on the fixture coming to Dublin ‘Due the ETTU’s decision to change the qualification rules it has become increasingly difficult for the smaller nations to compete in the major championships. In saying this, I think it is an opportunity for our players to force themselves to work harder to improve their international standing as players, as all of them strive to be on the big stage. It is also a massive opportunity to bring European Table Tennis to Ireland in what can only be a positive for the development of table tennis in Ireland. I would encourage all local clubs and leagues to come down and cheer our team on and hopefully enjoy an Irish win on the day!’ John went on to explain his thoughts on our young Irish team ‘From a team perspective, it’s great to be able to introduce some of the younger members of the squad to such a big game. It will be a chance for Owen Cathcart to try and step up and lead the team through his performances in unison with the dependable experience of Gavin Maguire. Alexander Gillen and Ryan Farrell will be chomping at the bit to get their chance and I have full faith in whoever does get their chance on the night. I must also mention the introduction of Art McLaughlin to the team which we hope will be a great opportunity to learn and gain some invaluable experience going into the junior internationals later in the year!’

The European League and specifically the match on the 27th is set to be a great opportunity for Table Tennis in Ireland and we hope that our membership and beyond will take the opportunity to come and see European Table Tennis on their doorstep. Please share this article and help us to communicate with a wider audience in advance of these matches. For more information on the fixture, don’t hesitate to email info@irishtabletennis.com

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