TTBL winter transfers: class instead of quantity


TTBL winter transfers: class instead of quantity

TTBL winter transfers: class instead of quantity

The TTBL clubs made a total of four new signings in the second transfer period of the 2023/24 season. We present to you which clubs were active on the transfer market and which players made their way into the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL).

Even without the media hype of international professional soccer, the winter transfer market in the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) offers some aspects worth looking at. Apparently under the motto "quality instead of quantity", even a former world champion found his way back into the top German league among the four new signings of the TTBL clubs for the second half of the season.

TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell was already able to enjoy the corresponding charisma and quality of Chuang Chih-Yuan at the start of the second half of the season. In keeping with the increased attention on his person, the former top five star from Taiwan promptly delivered on his debut for the East Hessians against TTC Schwalbe Bergneustadt: After losing his first singles match against national player Benedikt Duda (0:3), the 2013 World Championship doubles champion secured Fulda an important 3:1 overall victory with a 3:2 win against Romain Ruiz in the battle to stay in the league.

However, the TTBL is anything but unfamiliar territory for Chuang. Fulda is the 42-year-old veteran's sixth stint in Germany and his fourth in the German elite league. The Asian signed on with TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen back in 2000.

His guest appearance with the Upper Swabians, which lasted until 2006, was only interrupted by a stint at SV Plüderhausen for the 2001/02 season. In 2008, Chuang returned to Ochsenhausen for another two years. One year before winning the World Cup, the right-hander then joined Werder Bremen for two seasons.

His track record is impressive: Chuang won the championship with Ochsenhausen (2004) and Bremen (2013) and was also instrumental in Ochsenhausen's cup hat-trick from 2003 to 2005.

For its part, Fulda has continued a small tradition by signing Chuang: the new star is already the second player in a TTC jersey to have been decorated with world championship laurels at least once, after Swedish icon Jan-Ove Waldner, and even the third with the addition of former junior world champion Patrick Baum.

Bergneustadt and Bad Königshofen with reinforcements

However, the second transfer period of the season focused on curiosities as well as new celebrities. TSV Bad Königshofen's failure to sign Jin Ueda in the summer was made up for by the Japanese player's arrival for the second half of the season. Things are a little more complicated when it comes to Khanak Jha's move from TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau to Bergneustadt: Because the US-American's ban was extended until next March after three missed doping tests for violating the ban on playing, the former top 20 player can at best play in the last four league matches for the team from Oberberg.

Ueda, on the other hand, has already proven his drive and importance for Bad Königshofen, who did not send in the transfer request for the veteran in time before the start of the season. The 32-year-old celebrated an ideal debut with a flawless three-set victory over Kirill Gerassimenko in the Lower Franconia side's 3-0 win over Bremen.

Ueda, who gained match practice in the first half of the series by playing for the Austrian first division club TTC Wiener Neustadt in the Champions League, could also be important for Bad Königshofen due to his doubles skills: After all, the former TTC Hagen second division player won four doubles titles on the former World Tour. Last but not least, Ueda is extending the "Nippon era" at his new club. Previously, Mizuki Oikawa, Koji Itagaki and Yukiya Uda from the Land of the Rising Sun had also played in Bad Königshofen.

Jha's transfer to Bergneustadt was a bit of a farce. After the 2021 World Championship fifth-placer wanted to return to his former club in Grenzau during his suspension at the original expiry of his ban on December 1, the plan fell through due to the uncertainty surrounding the duration of Jha's ban. Bergneustadt took the risk, but now has to play more than half of its second-round matches without its designated top player.

The West Germans had made provisions to relieve the pressure on their mini squad of just three players: The club signed Indian amateur player Manush Utpalbhai Shah from neighboring second-division club 1. In his first six months in Germany with the "Billy Goats", the 23-year-old, who was ranked 162nd in the world in mid-January, had yet to make an appearance.

Florian Manzke

TTBL Redaktion

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