Top Indian paddler G. Sathiyan has signed for the Polish Superliga side Sokolow S.A. Jaroslaw for the upcoming 2020-21 season. He took to his social media handles to make the announcement. Sathiyan will now play in two international leagues after having signed with the Okayama Rivets in the Japanese T-League earlier this year.

In a chat with Sportstar , Sathiyan revealed that the top Polish league side had approached him a few months ago before reaching out to him again. “When I first received the offer, I thought of sticking to one league (Japan). But I reconsidered when they approached me again as they wanted a top player from Asia. Moreover, one of the main reasons that helped me decide was the (Polish) league’s schedule. Unlike Germany, where the league matches take place once a week on a fixed date, the calendar in Poland is very flexible. We get to play three matches in a week, so we have enough time to train and play the league matches in seven days and also enjoy adequate breaks.”

Reigning champion Jaroslaw

The Chennai-born paddler, who signed a 12-match contract with the Japanese T-League team, has agreed to a deal of 4-5 matches with the reigning champion Jaroslaw. The league consists of 13 teams, who play each other on a home and away basis. The league is expected to start in September and run till June next year. “It will be a good opportunity for me to get some great match practice as well. Many top players from Asia play in the league. I haven’t signed up for too many matches because 2021 is the Olympic year and I want to mainly focus on that along with the ITTF Pro Tours. I have the freedom to choose accordingly and I am looking forward to it.”

READ| Olympic medal on top of G. Sathiyan's agenda

Ease in travelling

The 27-year-old believes the decision to sign for two international leagues will only make things easier for him going forward. “When I am not playing in Japan or when I am in Europe for a Pro Tour or a training stint, I can easily go to Poland for the matches. It will save me the trouble of coming back to India and then joining the team. Moreover, when I am in India, I can easily make it to the Japanese League. So, I can choose whenever I want to play and I won’t have to spend more than two weeks in Poland.”

World no. 32 Sathiyan added that most leagues and plans are still doubtful owing to the coronavirus pandemic and that he will only travel when it’s safe.