Sathiyan inks short-term deal in Polish league

India paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has inked a short-term deal with Polish Superliga defending champion Sokolow SA Jaroslaw for the 2020-21 season.
Sathiyan inks short-term deal in Polish league
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Chennai

Chennai-based Sathiyan will compete in a maximum of five matches in Poland, having also penned a contract with Japanese T-League outfit Okayama Rivets for the upcoming season. “As I am also a part of the Japanese league, I didn’t commit myself for a longer duration,” Sathiyan told DT Next.
 “We still don’t have information on the (revised) ITTF calendar. But, whenever I have time between (my future) tournaments in Europe, I will travel to Poland and get some much-needed match practice. I feel (my stint with Sokolow) will be beneficial,” he added.
 Sathiyan, who represented German side ASV Grunwettersbach in the 2019-20 season, said the short space in between matchdays makes the Polish league unique. “The good thing is that there are two or three matches per week. If I stay there for a couple of weeks, I will be able to feature in four or five matches,” he stated.
 “That is not the case with the German league. Matches mostly happen only on Sundays and the players will have to wait for a week (to get back to the table again).” The 27-year-old donned the Gwiezdzie Bydgoszcz jersey back in the 2017-18 season and is all set for a second stint in Poland.
 Asked how the deal with Sokolow materialised, he explained: “Three months back, I received an offer but didn’t make a decision as things were quite different. Because of the (coronavirus pandemic) situation back then, I didn’t have a clear picture. So, I decided not to rush myself into signing up for two leagues. But now that certain things have changed, I have made up my mind.” 
The Polish league usually runs between September and July while the competition in Japan is generally from October to June. With both events running simultaneously for a period of time, Sathiyan, ranked 32 in the world, will plan his schedule when the ITTF calendar is out.
 “Priority will obviously be given to international tours as we have the (postponed) Olympic Games (in Tokyo) in 2021. If things get better, I will probably go to the Polish league in September for a few matches and then travel to Japan. Maybe after that, I can return to Poland to finish my job,” said Sathiyan.

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