The opportunity to go for glory on the European stage is the ‘carrot’ for British teams entered in the first phase of the Europe Trophy.
The regional stages of the competition for both men and women take place later this month, with groups being held across the continent.
The Europe Trophy is the third level of the European club competition, after the Champions League and Europe Cup, and is being played for the first time this season.
The Trophy is open to all clubs from all levels except for the non-relegated teams from the Champions League and Europe Cup.
Fusion and Ormesby are both host clubs for the group stage on April 23-24, as British clubs compete to determine who will go through to the competition Grand Finals from June 17-19.
Fusion are hosting two groups in the men’s competition and Ormesby one in the women’s trophy, as follows:
Joola Plymouth, Fusion, Draycott & Long Eaton, St Neots, Ormesby, Murrayfield
Group A: Fusion, BATTS, Grantham Academy, Murrayfield
Group B: Ormesby, Joola Plymouth, Draycott & Long Eaton, Somerset Sabres
At Fusion, the two group winners will qualify for the Grand Finals, while at Ormesby the top two teams will go through.
Clubs from nations including Belgium, Greece, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, France and Netherlands are also competing at other venues around Europe.
Altogether, nine teams will qualify for the men’s Grand Finals, with eight going through in the women’s competition.
Both Ormesby and Fusion are relishing being host clubs, and the prospects for going further in the competition.
Ormesby is a club with a big European pedigree, having 50 years ago won the Europe Club Cup with a stellar line-up of Denis Neale, Trevor Taylor and Nicky Jarvis.
Ormesby Chairman Alan Ransome OBE said: “We’re trying to bring a lot of good quality young players through, boys and girls, and we’ve entered in both competitions.
“Our boys’ team of Thomas Rayner, Josh Weatherby and Ben Piggott is doing very well in the SBL Championship and those boys are all in the mix for selection.
“We’ve got some good girls coming through – Ella Pashley, Eve Witterick and Rebecca Savage – and we want to give them the opportunity. (Former England international) Karina Le Fevre is also coming back to play.
“I think it’s a good concept and teams can enter in the knowledge that the winners get the chance to participate in European competition.”
Fusion’s John Dennison said: “It’s a good initiative for clubs who want to have some different challenges against European players they don’t normally have the opportunity to play against. The opportunity for men and women to play is great.
“We’re very happy to be the hosts because we don’t really host that many big events, so we’re looking forward to some good crowds and good matches and to make a good weekend of it.
“The teams that are coming, we play domestically, but now there’s a different slant because whoever gets into the top two will go into the next stage somewhere in Europe, so it’s a great carrot to have.
“It gives our younger players the opportunity to see some high-quality table tennis and some will have the opportunity to take part.”
The action gets under way at 11am on Saturday April 23.