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    Apr 2020
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    #1

    Story behind Walter Wels fielding a team of youngsters at the 2020 Champions League?

    Just came across Saarbrücken's match VS Walter Wels (Austria) in the Champions league and was surprised to find that the NR 2 and 3 players for the Austrian team seem to both be under 15 and indeed as would be expected they lost to Franziska and Jorgic without ever really being in the match. Jorgic won his match in 8 minutes, mainly sparring with his much younger opponent and only losing 4 points.

    Does anyone know how this situation came to be?

    And also, how comes one of the groups only has 3 teams? Which team dropped out and why? Ochsenhausen?

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    #2
    Found my own answer after a quick Google search.

    (Google translate of MyTischTennis.de article

    For Walter Wels, two twelve-year-olds got into the pits on Friday evening against 1. FC Saarbrücken (0: 3). The reason: The Austrians were slowed down by the corona virus. Adam Szudi, Andreas Levenko, Frane Kojic and trainer David Huber had to stay at home. The kids got a lot of applause.


    This news caused quite a stir at the end of the week. Due to a corona case in the SPG Walter Wels team, the underdog from Group C traveled to Germany with his second division team. The only twelve-year-old talents Julian Rzihauschek and Petr Hodina celebrated their debut on the international stage. A novelty, because younger players have never been nominated for this competition. "It was nice for the boys that they could take away a game like this," said Patrick Franziska, who of course also let his opponent Julian Rzihauschek play a little. In the end, it became the expected straightforward matter.


    “We have already seen her in the training hall. They still have a lot of energy and were extremely eager, ”the German national player praised the two youngsters. SGP sports director Helmut Giglmayer, who drove to Düsseldorf alone with his “emergency team”, was very proud of his boys. “They were incredibly happy, could hardly train and only knew most of the players from television. They were by no means demotivated that they lost. ”Julian Rzihauschek and Petr Hodina will not forget this special experience anytime soon. “Both are U13 youth players. Julian is number one in Austria, Petr in the Czech Republic, ”reports Giglmayer.


    The next highlights are just around the corner


    The Austrians only found out about the bad news on Monday. The professionals had to be quarantined immediately. In the event of a cancellation, the club would have been excluded from all European competitions in the rest of the season. Due to an exception, the group fourth can also compete in the Europe Cup in spring. “That was our goal,” confirms the sports director. After an unforgettable Friday evening on the ARAG CenterCourt, more overwhelming moments will follow in the 'Bubble'. The youth players can look forward to duels with Michael Maze (Roskilde) or Patrick Baum (Pontoise) at the weekend.


    Giglmayer had never expected such a "hype" about his club. “That came as a surprise. We go into every game easily and have nothing to lose, ”says the person in charge of the blatant outsider. The SPG Walter Wels has definitely written Champions League history.

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