TTC Neu-Ulm puts up their hopes with Emmanuel Lebesson joining the team. Alongside Tiago Apolonia the French player is expected to lead TTC further to the top of the table. We have interviewed the European champion of 2016 before TTBL’s second game day and chatted about his TTBL debut, his transfer and future perspectives with Neu-Ulm.

Welcome to the TTBL! And congrats to your 3-1 success against Rares Sipos. How did you experience your first game in the TTBL?

Before the first match with TTC Neu-Ulm I was of course a little bit nervous because it’s totally new for me to play in another league as the French league, where I played since I have been 18 years old. Furthermore, the teams tied up the score to 1-1, so I knew that it was very important to turn the 2-1 for our team.

How much of your performance potential were you able to retrieve in your first game?

I was 100 percent prepared for my debut, both mentally and physically. Before this match I played two tournaments in France with a lot of good French players to be ready for the start of the league. So I’m very happy about this first match for Neu-Ulm and I will try to improve for the next matches. Rares Sipos was a strong opponent, and it was hard for me to put up my game style.

TTC Neu-Ulm is a club with a rather young history. What convinced you to transfer to the club?

It’s only the second season for the club in the league. We want to achieve a position as close to the play-offs as possible! Personally, I was looking for a new challenge, and the TTBL was the best possible address. Therefore, I am glad that we have come to an agreement and that I now play in Germany. I hope we are successful together!

The team for the upcoming season was completely restructured. Tiago Apolonia and you are already experienced, while Vladimir Sidorenko and Kay Stumper are still youngsters. How far can the team go this season?

Honestly I don’t know at this point of time how far we can go in this season. Finishing in the top four will be hard because some teams are stronger than us, at least on paper. But you never know what will happen in the course of a season, already the first game day brought us some surprises. So we will play match by match and try to finish close to the top four. We will see our ranking at the end of the first half of the season to see what more we can hope for.

The German champion 1. FC Saarbrücken TT is awaiting you in the cup. How do you estimate TTC's chances of making it to the quarter final?

That was definitely not the best possible draw for the round of sixteen for us. Saarbrücken is a very strong team and of course they are the favorite against us, and they also play at home. But it’s only one match and it’s at the very beginning of the season. We will give our best and fight for a ticket to the quarter finals.

Header photo: Emmanuel Lebesson (by ITTF)