5-times Malta National League Champions HiTT Academy Tibhar are geared up to play in the Europe Trophy club league, a competition organised by the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU). The team, which is made up of 4 Maltese players, will be playing against teams from Italy and Serbia. As we’re counting down the days to the first match, the HiTT players, led by Head Coach and 21-time National Champion Mario Genovese, have already started intense training in preparation for this high-profile competition.
ETTU Europe Trophy – GROUP B MATCHES
All Group B matches will be played in Malta, at the Santa Clara College Secondary, in Pembroke.
The schedule for the first 3 games involving our team will be as follows:
- 8th December 2023 – 3pm: TTC Radnicki 1972 Beocin vs HiTT Academy Tibhar
- 8th December 2023 – 8pm: HiTT Academy Tibhar vs Club ASD Tennistavolo Sassari
- 9th December 2023 – 3pm: HiTT Academy Tibhar vs ASD Santa Tecla Nulvi
Our Team for the Europe Trophy – HiTT Academy Tibhar
HiTT Academy Tibhar earned their right to play in the Europe Trophy club league after winning the MTTA National League 2022/23 and thus became the only official Maltese team to be eligible to represent Malta in the Europe Trophy that will be organised by the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) during season 2023/24. This is a first for table tennis in Malta, an initiative that came thanks to the Malta Olympic Committee who made the official announcement on 14th December 2022.
The four HiTT players on the team are:
Mario Genovese – Player & Coach
Table tennis legend Mario Genovese holds the unique record of being 21-times Malta’s National Champion. He’s also the founder and head coach of Malta’s most successful table tennis academy, plus an ITTF certified coach with vast international experience, including his latest appointment as CTTF Head Coach. National ranking: 7
Isaac Grixti – Player
The 22-year-old player started playing when he was 11 and since then has won a great many National titles and represented Malta many times internationally. Isaac has won the Malta National League title 5 times in a row and has played in the FITET Italian National League for a number of seasons. National ranking: 4
Conrad Puli – Player
Currently Malta’s U21 and U19 National Champion, Conrad has won National Titles across many categories, and has been on the Junior National Team for many years. Currently, he also plays in Naples for ASD Tennis Tavolo Sant’Espedito. National ranking: 3
Luke Bonello – Player
Luke is the youngest player on the team. He started training when he was 7 and since then has won National Championship titles in U11, U13, U15 singles and also several Doubles titles. In 2022, Luke won 3 gold medals at the COGI games in Mallorca. Currently, he also plays in Naples for ASD Tennis Tavolo Sant’Espedito. National ranking: 5
Gabriel Grixti – Assistant Coach
Malta’s Number 1 player will sit this one out and take a coaching role for this event, given his current engagement with Slovakian club ŠK PARA TT Hlohovec. Gabriel has won the SIngles Men National title two times in a row, and is currently playing the highest league in Slovakia.
About The Europe Trophy
The Europe Trophy is a European club competition that was conceived in 2022. It is a club competition of the third level, after the Champions League and Europe Cup.
The aim of the Europe Trophy is to enable smaller table tennis clubs to take part in a European competition at a lower budget. To help this concept, the games are played within 8 regions in group stages. The regional winners then qualify for a Grand Final to determine one Europe Trophy winner.
The Trophy is open to all clubs from all levels except for the non-relegated teams from Champions League and Europe Cup.