Garry Dodd, 25, made his debut for Gotland’s IFC Visby club in Stockholm last weekend, winning seven of his 10 singles matches in the third tier of the high-quality Swedish National League.
Report and Picture Courtesy of The Guernsey Press
Playing future team-mates: Garry Dodd (nearest camera) and Bjorn Axelsson clash at the 2015 Island Games. (Picture by Rob Currie)
Report by Rob Batiste
ISLAND No.1 Garry Dodd (above) is intent on the perfect preparation for the 2017 NatWest Island Games in Got-land. He is playing for them in the Swedish leagues. Dodd, 25, made his debut for Got-land's IFC Vis by club in Stockholm last weekend, winning seven of his 10 singles matches in the third tier of the high-quality national league.
His new team won all four of their matches over the two days and he can scarcely wait to get back. 'They contacted me straight after the Island Games. I was quite surprised because I didn't feel I played that well at the Games,' said Dodd this week. Dodd played at three in the squad with a Slovakian at one and Gotland's Nils Lundberg and Bjorn Axelsson at two and four.
'I knew Nils from previous Island Games but it was Bjorn who contacted me about it the day after the Games in Jersey finished. 'That's the good thing about the Island Games. You get to meet people like this and they are really nice guys.' Dodd is next away with Visby at the end of November.
There will be two more rounds of matches in Stockholm and one in Gotland itself which he believes will be at the very venue which will stage the next Island Games table tennis tournament. 'Every game is a challenge and that's what you need. I've got my confidence back,' he said, before going on to win the first major domestic tournament of the season, the Senior Group Trophy. Dodd, who is also spearheading the Ravenscroft island representative team in the British League, said the standard in Sweden is incredibly high. 'I'd say that everyone in our division is top 10 in England. Visby's aim is to stay in the division and it is nice to go and play someone you don't know anything about.'