Monday, June 23, 2008

MHF starts to act as Malay Mail continues its "breaking news"

Malaysian hockey has yet again got on the front page headlines of Malay Mail. This is the 3rd time Malay Mail has granted such a special spot for hockey and that itself must be a record. What an achievement for hockey! Read Johnson's article in 23rd June 2008. It is extremely brave of Malay Mail to even name the personality linked to the issue of betting and "selling" the games.

It is indeed very honourable for MHF to make a police report after Johnson broke the story to the MHF's President. It is also commendable of MHF Secretary to state that such allegations may not exist. It is good to know that he is prepared to defend the "turf". What happens if it is otherwise?

What is interesting is MHF made a police report prior to its management meeting on 23th June evening. Why the rush? Generally an endorsement of the management committee would have carried the full weight of the Exco. Well, probably it maybe that the urgency of the matter warranted such an expeditious approach. If so, the MHF Secretary must be careful what he lets the world know.

While the aspect of matters pertaining to the "ill gotten" monies are now a police investigation, I think it is only proper to leave them to complete their investigation. This means the issue of Malaysia's disastrous performance at the Olympic Qualifiers and Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy maybe the immediate issues at hand.

I understand both MHF and NSC have found a new "quick fix" answer and this lies with a renowned Korean coach who is coaching China for the Beijing Olympic. Discussions are underway and it is the hope of MHF that they could get him for the Senior team. There is no doubt he is/was a great coach and so was the German who for many years acted as coach and then as consultant. Is the Korean coach the answer? This ad-hoc decision making based on certain person or persons recommendations may not work out best for Malaysia. My own feeling is that he was good with the Koreans because his style, techniques, tactics and temperament suited them. He himself is a good 5 to 8 years behind in modern hockey. The dominant nations in modern hockey are Holland, Germany, Spain and Australia. Seriously, coaches from these nations would bring a better approach to Malaysian hockey.

I think both MHF and NSC must re-look and carefully decide. We are going to be 19th or 20th in World ranking after Beijing Olympic. In standards we are far behind and we should not have a chap who is more renowned for discipline and fitness. It will not work in the Malaysian context. Compare him with the Australian who took Malaysia to Barcelona Olympic. Ask those players who also had the benefit of the Korean as a consultant, when the German was Malaysia's coach.

Please do not jump in and then find out that we have gone from a" burning fire" into a "deep sea". Be careful as the future of hockey depends on what sort of decisions we make today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Gandhi,

If you recall the Star, Friday 13th June 2008 Special Edition Euro 2008 -

“Attack, Otto, Attack”; and “Greece coach told to take risk in next match against Russia”

These two quotes will tell you why the need to carefully analyse the situation before making a decision. It is like a marriage of two people and I am sure that the matrimony will be at least 4 years to be nullified (1 Olympic cycle).

When the Malaysian team stared off with the German concept many teams was caught off guard not knowing how to play us for a while.

Overtime the concept was lacking in attack and we eventually find it difficult to play at the big stage.

Attacking flare was missing. So was our strong point of speed and agility to take on the opposition’s defence.

The sudden change of mentality to hold the ford and take no risk was not our strong point. Discipline to maintain a highly organised structure does not come natural taking into account our culture from childhood.

The first foreign coach took all of this into account. Understanding the Malaysian culture on and off the field shall be detrimental in out decision making in the weeks to come.

In 2002 World Cup, we saw how the German forwards were unleashed with a new mentality. The German surprise attacking play, taking calculated risk was the reason why the Australian defence collapsed. Eventually the German was worthy winners of 2002 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

With the recent rampant changes to the rules by FIH, we see more reason why we should open our minds and cleverly plan and accept the changes accordingly. Rules are change to generate excitement where power play and high scoring matches will hope to attract the crowd and sponsors.

The one rule that changed the game of hockey 365 degrees was the removal of the offside ruling.

In the coming months we will also see a change in the format of the game. The Germany vs. Netherlands match at the ongoing Champion’s Trophy was played in a challenging phase of 20 minutes in 4 half.

Hope that the coming decision will see us up the world ranking.