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Francis Coquelin

Dunlop Table Tennis Masters

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Glenn Hoddle, John Barnes and James Harper, the Reading midfield player, will join Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic gold medal winning triple jumper, in a celebrity table tennis challenge at the Albert Hall in London this evening. The challenge matches will form a special part of the Dunlop Masters, a leading table tennis competition featuring many of the world’s top players.The involvement of three footballers in the four-man celebrity challenge is no coincidence: table tennis is the recreation of choice for many present and former professionals, with clubs from Manchester United to Portsmouth and Reading to Arsenal providing tables at their training grounds. According to Rio Ferdinand, one of the Barclays Premier League’s most vocal ping-pong aficionados, the table tennis contests that take place after training sessions are no less competitive than the football matches.Many Premier League players have reached remarkably high standards, despite the lack of formal coaching. Over recent months I have played with first-team players at Portsmouth (where David Nugent rules) and Reading (where Harper and Marcus Hahnemann, the goalkeeper, vie for supremacy) and was taken aback by the quality and technical ability on display.Before Christmas I had a knock around with Robin van Persie, who has a table at his home. The Arsenal striker combines formidable power with lightning reflexes, prompting one observer to suggest that he would have reached international level had he chosen a different path in life.Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo are considered the two top players at Manchester United, although there is some dispute as to who is better. Ferdinand was due to play in the celebrity challenge this evening but had to withdraw because of fixture congestion. “The management won’t allow me to come down because we have games Saturday and Wednesday and obviously training every day in between,” he said. “I’m gutted because I like a game of TT and was hoping to come and put a few people in their places.” The defender believes that he is the Premier League’s best table tennis player.Profits from the Dunlop Masters will be donated to TTK, the table tennis initiative of Greenhouse Schools Project, a charity that provides sports coaching and mentoring to youngsters from socially deprived backgrounds. All four players in the celebrity challenge at the Albert Hall this evening have given their time for free to help to raise extra funds for Greenhouse.
http://www.tabletennismasters.org/Heard this on talksport about a month agoGuy said RVP was the favourite

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