Germany-bound Sathiyan hopes to break into top-20

Sathiyan, after signing the dotted line, said he will play for ASV Grunwettersbach Tischtennis from August, after the Asian Games. The contract runs through May 2019.

G. Sathiyan said the focus would also be on his fitness.   -  Getty Images (File Photo)

One of India’s top paddlers G. Sathiyan has signed a one-year contract with German super division club, ASV Grunwettersbach Tischtennis.

Sathiyan, after signing the dotted line, said he will play for the club from August, after the Asian Games. The contract runs through May 2019.

Sathiyan, who is plying his trade in the Polish league said playing in Germany can do a world of good for him. "The league in Germany is more strict, in terms of commitment for a number of matches to be played, the team combination etc, when compared to the league in Poland. It would be a great experience playing against the likes of Timo Ball, Simon Gauzy, Stefan Fegerl and Paul Drinkhall etc. It would help me in my aim of breaking into the top-20 in the world," he said from Germany.

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The Chennai paddler hopes the stint also goes a long way in the technical aspect of his game. "There are a lot of improvements to be made in terms of my service and receiving. My forehand attack looks aggressive and has improved. Also, the German league involves playing a lot of matches. It is also a platform to showcase my skills and the mental aspect also improves, especially when you are playing close games. I hope I can make significant changes in these by playing in the league," he added.

Sathiyan said the focus would also be on his fitness. "The physical fitness system is excellent in Germany. We have trainers who have sound knowledge of the demands of the game and also on fitness. Training in these circumstances would go a long way in improving my fitness," he explained.

Sathiyan, while playing in the Polish leagues, has used the ASV Grunwettersbach Tischtennis club for training purposes. "Since I train here, it was also easy for them to understand my game and select me," he said.

The paddler credited A. Sharath Kamal for his inputs on playing in the foreign leagues. "He is the first player to have played in these leagues. He is a great senior and his guidance is invaluable. He knows better and has guided me in taking the right steps in my career," Sathiyan added.

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