The 2017/2018 season is now coming to a close, and Matthew has achieved many of the goals he set himself to become a stronger and more experienced player.
Matthew, 17 years of age, joined the ITTF World Junior Circuit at the beginning of the season, as a result of the generous support from the Beaulieu Beaufort Foundation, which saw him play in several competitions across Europe, such as the ITTF Portugal Youth Open – where he reached the last 32 in the Junior boy’s singles, and won a bronze medal in the team event – and the prestigious ITTF Italian Youth Open (Premium event), as well as the ITTF Czech Youth Open (another Premium event). Unfortunately a long spell of illness prevented him from taking part in several other planned ITTF competitions.
Matthew had a very happy time playing for Niederkassel in the German League this season. Everyone at the club was very welcoming and supportive and it was a great experience. However, Matthew received many offers to join new teams for the 2018/2019 season. Among these, was an offer to play in the Regionalliga (4th league)- something he has wanted to do for a long time. However, Matthew was made an offer from TTG Neckarbishofsheim which he couldn’t refuse; an offer to move to one of the biggest clubs in Germany, Grünwettersbach, a first Bundesliga team, to live and train daily there (6 hours per day), whilst playing German League for TTG Neckarbishofsheim in the Oberliga.
Due to German league commitments, Matthew has been unable to attend many English tournaments. However, he was able to participate in the English Junior Masters, which saw the top 10 best English Juniors participate against each other for the title, and also the English Junior Nationals (top 32 players). He was also able to participate in Grand Prix tournaments, albeit only two, which saw him accumulate over 300 Senior ranking points, beating strong players such as the England number 26 (in the senior ranking list; 9 in U21), and various players in the top 50 in the Senior Men’s ranking list.
Matthew is very excited to have officially signed for Neckarbishofsheim, and is looking forward to the start of the season!