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With new young player, Akash Metha (now 20 years), taking my attention by performing well in last weekend’s Bundaberg Open, I have been reminded of the number of young players coming on the scene in our club.

I first met Akash when he would turn up on Thursday nights for practice. Right from the word go, I could see that he has good sound technique and, when I recently heard that he is being coached by Paul Green, I realize that this is not surprising.

Akash joined fixtures for the first time in Division 2. He had a bit of a shaky start but this is not surprising as he was up against players who have been around for years and developed some lethal shots. But the last 3 weeks he has shown that he will learn fast with some good wins. I don’t think it will be too long before he is Div 1.

In Div 3 we also have two young players attempting fixtures for the first time. Sreenivas Perumalla (15 years) has just come from the Junior Program run by our own, Jayde Treloar. Sreenivas shone in this program and showed that he is ready for competition. He already has had 4 wins. Another young player, Archie Close (13 years), came out of the blue showing much potential. He is presently sitting 2nd on the rankings and seems to be improving each week.

We have had a conscious effort to foster our junior numbers and we have got to a good start. Jayde Treloar, our most accomplished junior from the recent past with a top 10 Queensland ranking, ran a successful Junior Program earlier in the year. And, together with the very accomplished Patrick Wuertz, will be running another junior program (Spinneroos) in October.

Speaking of Patrick. He is presently coaching David Serifovic (aged 14) who is coming on in leaps and bounds. I was the victim of one these bounds last week when David put me in place on the “court”.

Our club has many experienced senior players but most are very happy to see a junior racing up the ranks as they are the future of our club and of table tennis.

We do have top junior players around. Dan Ettel, who finished year 12 last year or was it the year before (now aged 19), is presently our 2nd ranked player in the club and has made it to the final of the club championship. I have already mentioned Jayde Treloar (now aged 21). A few seasons ago we had a very exciting young player in Luke Thomson who was also ranked 2 in the club. Luke followed a career path into the armed service but I am sure we will see him back

The beauty of table tennis is that one can play for a few years and come back off and on. I know that this is the case with many of our accomplished senior players. It would be great to send a few teams to the Queensland Junior Titles like we have in the past. I am sure it will happen.

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