Liam Pitchford

Pitchford extends Japanese league contract

Paul Stimpson

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Liam Pitchford says extending his contract with Saitama in the Japanese T.League for another season was an easy decision to make.

The England No 1 joined the club last autumn and says his game has improved during his stint so far. He will feature again in the coming season.

The four-team league includes all the leading Japanese players, plus several overseas stars.

“It was an easy decision,” said Pitchford. “I feel like I’ve improved out there, I’ve been able to practise to a good level and, mixing that with the work I’ve been doing with (England coach) Gavin Evans I think has really helped me, especially my forehand.

“This first season, I started really well. The second half, I was travelling a lot between Japan and tournaments in Europe and I got a bit tired towards the end and wasn’t playing as well as I wanted, but I still did well and got some decent scores. I want to be better next season.

“I think I’ve got used to the travelling now and hopefully next season that will be a bit easier.”

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