For Somnath Ghosh, who moulded the raw, young talent of Sreeja Akula into a champion performer, it will be a “different and challenging” role when he dons the coach’s role for the defending champions, Chennai Lions, in the Ultimate Table Tennis League from July 13 to 30 in Pune.
For the record, City-based Somnath will join German coach Jorg Bitzigeio, who trained the USA and German teams, as the Lions try to defend the title.
“I am making my debut in UTT this year, and every effort is made to retain the title,” he said in a chat with ‘Sportstar’.
Somnath trains international players like Akula Sreeja, S.F.R. Snehit, and B. Varun Shanker at Somnath Ghosh UTT Table Tennis Academy (KPHB) here.
“I am excited at the huge opportunity and have been waiting for a long time for this kind of assignment,” Somnath said.
“This year’s format is also very different, so we will plan our strategies along with team owners and other members after the player draft is over,” he said.
“Yes, being the defending champions, expectations will be very high on Chennai Lions. But, we are ready for any kind of challenge and will give our cent per cent to defend the title again,” Somnath said.
“There is no pressure as such, but just hoping for the best result as the team is capable of retaining the championship,” he said.
“I am grateful to the franchise for giving me this kind of a challenge and hope to live up to their expectations,” the coach said.
“The target is to win again for sure, but I feel we should take it match by match, slow and steady approach to achieving the objective,” he said.
“It will be a great experience to work with someone like Bitzigeio, who trained the USA and German teams,” Somnath said.
For his part, the owners Harini Yadav and Karishma Yadav said in a statement that the combination of Somnath and Bitzigeio should help them choose the best players available in the draft on June 2 to be champions again.
Latest on Sportstar
- Hyderabad could host World professional snooker ranking event in August, says RB Ganesh
- Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023: India ready for Malaysia challenge
- Swiatek no fan of ‘Iga’s Bakery’ memes after serving up another double bagel
- An Se Young defeats He Bingjiao in straight games, claims Thailand Open title
- WTC Final: Rahane stands at crossroads in his comeback Test