14 Sep 2019

The new season in Europe about to start; there is no shortage of African players competing in the various national leagues.

In particular players from the continent are representing clubs in Denmark, France, Spain, Germany and Portugal.

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Once again, Quadri Aruna will represent Sporting Portugal, Egypt’s Omar Assar will wear the colours of Borussia Düsseldorf; they clash in the group stage of the ETTU Champions League later this month.

Apart from competing in the ETTU Champions League, Quadri Aruna will lead Sporting in defence of their Portuguese league title; Omar Assar, who is spending his second season with Borussia Düsseldorf will be aiming to win the German title.

“It is going to be a tough season. It is also the Olympic Games season and everyone is focusing on qualifying. We are very lucky to have myself and Timo Boll already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in singles and team. I am sure other players in the team will be aiming to secure their places at the Olympic Games. The club is really helping us to focus, my personal aim is to add points to the team in all our matches. My focus is to ensure I contribute immensely to the team this season,” Omar Assar

Omar Assar’s sibling, Khalid, who joined the Danish first division team, Neastved, is aiming to help the team to win the Danish league. Previously he represented B75.

“I want to help my new club win the league as well as improve my ranking in the world by competing in more tournaments ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.” Khalid Assar

Aiming for promotion

Similarly, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw is also aiming to help his club, Roanne gain promotion to division one. The African Games quarter-finalist will be playing in Pro B of the French League.

“This is my second season with Roanne and now we have two new players in the team to bolster the squad ahead of the new season; this season, I want to ensure I win 80 per cent of my matches to lift the team to Pro A.” Ibrahima Diaw

Like his Senegalese counterpart, Algeria’s Larbi Bouriah, who alongside colleague, Sofiane Boudjadja, plies his trade in Pro C (third division) of the French League with Courbevoie Sports Table Tennis, believes maintaining their position in the division is his priority.

“This season we want to ensure we are not relegated as our main target is to remain in the third division. We know it is a tall order to be aiming for promotion to the second division but for now, we want to remain where we are.” Larbi Bouriah

Bound for Spain

In Spain, Nigeria’s Offiong Edem will be playing her second season with Rivas Tennis de Mesa in Madrid. Having missed competing in the ETTU competition this season after finishing seventh in the league, Offiong Edem believes they can make it to the top this season.

“Our target this season is to play in an ETTU competition and also move up to the top of the league.” Offiong Edem

Meanwhile, African champion, Egypt’s Dina Meshref of Egypt will be competing in the German Bundesliga. She will ply her trade for Langstadt alongside German international, Petrissa Solja who joined the team in 2018.

“I decided to move out of Egypt because I thought I need to try to play in a strong league and also play stronger matches as this would help me improve my level.” Dina Meshref

General News Quadri Aruna Omar Assar