The draw for the group stage of the Table Tennis Champions League Men (TTCLM) took place on Friday afternoon in Saarbrücken. Debutant Post SV Mühlhausen can look forward to meeting Orenburg's star ensemble led by Dimitrij Ovtcharov, defending champion Borussia Düsseldorf faces the 2016 champion. 1. FC Saarbrücken TT picks a strong Polish opponent.

In their first season in the Table Tennis Champions League Men (TTCLM), Post SV Mühlhausen has caught an attractive draw. In Group D, the Thuringians will meet the multiple Russian title winner Fakel Gazprom Orenburg, the French representative GV Hennebont TT and the finalist of 2016 Eslövs AI BTK from Sweden. This is the result of the draw held by the European Table Tennis Union ETTU in Saarbrücken on Friday afternoon.

And so the team of coach Erik Schreyer will play stars like Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Vladimir Samsonov (Orenburg), Liam Pirchford (Hennebont) and Xu Hui (Eslöv). This week, Mühlhausen's manager Thomas Stecher has already emphasized the enormous anticipation of his club – which should now have risen again in view of the draw.

Timo Boll

Mission titel defence: Timo Boll (Photo: MaJo-Foto)

In Group A, defending champion Borussia Düsseldorf will face Kristian Karlsson's ex-club AS Pontoise Cergy TT of France and thus the 2016 champion. Other opponents of the triple winner around Timo Boll are Sporting Clube de Portugal – last season's semi-finalist – and TTC Ostrava 2016 from the Czech Republic led by experienced Petr Korbel.

Saarbrücken against former TTBL stars

1. FC Saarbrücken TT, being set as head of the group C, will face KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki from Poland, VS Angers TT from France and Roskilde Bordtennis BTK 61 from Denmark. Especially Bogoria around the experienced former Düsseldorf player Panagiotis Gionis and the former Grenzau player Masaki Yoshida should turn out to be a tough opponent.

The first matchday of the new season is scheduled for September 26/27/28, the quarter-finalist will be set in early December at the latest. Further information about the Champions League can be found on the website of the ETTU.

The groups at a glance

Group A
Borussia Düsseldorf (GER)
AS Pontoise Cergy TT (FRA)
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)
TTC Ostrava 2016 (CZE)

Group B
K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo (POL)
Stella Sport La Romagne (FRA)
SPG Walter Wels (AUT)

Group C
1. FC Saarbrücken TT (GER)
KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki (POL)
VS Angers TT (FRA)
Roskilde Bordtennis BTK 61 (DEN)

Group D
Fakel Gazprom Orenburg (RUS)
GV Hennebont TT (FRA)
Post SV Mühlhausen (GER)
Eslövs AI BTK (SWE)

Header photo: Habel