Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Plea for truthful representation from National Hockey Coach

When I read this morning's paper, the headlines on hockey seemed to give me some hope. Malaysia are still ranked 14th despite failure to qualify for the Olympics. I thought this was a good start for my day until I indulged into the article proper. It changed my day as, in the usual smaller print, it became apparent that China(15th) and Japan(17th) would overtake us when the rankings are done after the Olympics. In the same line it was indicated that India and Pakistan, who are ranked in the top 10 would also drop in position.

The report was only a small column and yet the headline gave a wrong impression. Malaysia's ranking had not changed because FIH has yet to update its list. They want to do it after the Olympics as it would capture the post Olympic rankings, i.e after a major hockey tournament. To provide a view that Malaysia's position after qualifiers has not changed does not reflect the true scenario of the rankings.

To mitigate the drop in rankings for Malaysia, the aspect of India's and Pakistan's position seem to be played up. The only reason I believe this scenario was painted is to highlight that even top teams suffer such fate. Seriously, I am not worried about India and Pakistan. They were great hockey nations and good luck to them.

My interest is Malaysia, and I always want to rate Malaysia with the best. However, we have peculiar officials who cannot get themselves to be ranked in the tournaments that make a difference. Yet today they are soliciting for tournaments that can help in the ranking. This is honestly a "weirdo" way of thinking. When the opportunity was there they allowed it to slip. Now they want other tournaments to help them. What guarantees are there that this coach would get Malaysia to perform well and better our rankings.

It seems that it is only "hot air" from the coach. Obviously the Reporter is providing him a platform to voice his opinion. I have nothing against that except the Reporter must also have the responsibility to ask the "if's" and "but's". He seems more interested in highlighting the coach's contract is till 2012. It seems that the Reporters (save the ones from Malay Mail) these days connected to hockey have an agenda too. It is becoming too obvious and may call into question the wisdom of some of the articles.

The bottom line is Malaysia has performed badly. It seems the perennial excuse of fitness is the cause of our bad performance. Strange, as our players are always in centralised training and still fitness is the excuse. Then there must be something surely wrong with our training sessions or our coaches do not have the proper skills to train the players. Therefore which of these is it?

The Management in MHF must surely take responsibility for all that is going wrong in hockey. They seem to have left it the so called Coaching Committee and coaches, who have lead them up the "garden path" until they arrived at the "cliff end". Poor chaps are now caught at a point of "no return" and the only choice is to "jump off". The question: Why all this is permitted to happen? There are personalities in MHF who have utilised certain person's name to instill fear and get things done for their own benefit. They make him to be the "de facto" chief and he calls the shots. They offer trips and other positions with the National Teams, to keep key officials with affiliates happy so as their shortcomings do not become apparent. This way they believe they can sustain their power in MHF. I am sure the President is kept in the dark on all these as he does not have his people there to let him know what is going on.

This is where the media comes handy for these people, to provide the perception that things are going on well in hockey. Such an impression creation is a strategy for certain group to sustain their position in MHF, notwithstanding where we are ranked in world hockey.


Anonymous said...

We are 14th only because we hosted the Champions trophy and got 150 points for finishing last.The details can be found in the FIH website.

If not for this 113points (75% of 150)because the Champions trophy was held in 2007 we would be 17th with 387 pts below China on 400 points and above Ireland on 350 pts.

Anonymous said...

We are 14th only because we hosted the Champions trophy and got 150 points for finishing last.The details can be found in the FIH website.If not for this 113points (75% of 150)because the Champions trophy was held in 2007 we would be 18th with 387 pts below Ireland on 400 pts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Gandhi,

Most critics by the bloggers on the Malaysian team have been taken negatively. I have taken the pain as to be fair to the team, statistic retrieved from the FIH official web-site, SURPRISING facts, sir.

Average Age- GER (25), JPN (26), MAS (25), ITALY (24).

Average Caps - GER (115), JPN (62), MAS (85), ITALY (20).

From the data, all bloggers will agree that the teams competing at the Olympic Qualifier, in terms of average age and average international match exposure per team is not far apart.

Even Japan does not have the luxury of playing many international matches, are in the World Cup and pit Malaysia for the finals at the Olympic qualifier.

Italy is even worse, average age of 24 and average caps of 20 only, did managed to get away with a draw with us.

Hence the frequent excuse of having a young team is a very lame one.

Fitness is the other frequently used excuse (“FUE”, new found Jorgen). With full-time training camp, fitness can not be an excuse time and time again unless there is something wrong with the physical conditioner or is he qualified? The players are within the management’s control and disposal.

There are only two areas left that can relate to the teams degrading performance, sub-standard coaching at international level, and poor management and planning are the main probable contributors to Malaysian dismay performance at the Olympic Qualifier in Japan.

In other cases, all matters falls under the "CEO's" jurisdiction. The CEO can not refuse this responsibility and must take the fall and not transfer this failure to the players or team.

Anonymous said...

It's somewhat interesting that the NST being a major daily failed in ensuring that their writers are reporting ethically. Pls NST do something instead of putting yourself in dilemma. Your Editor In Chief needs a wake up call. The particular writer must be moved away from hockey or rather suspended. The Hockey fraternity knows he is not reporting the right news.

FIH stay away from the lobbying mission by MHF. India must be given the opportunity to organise the World Cup. If there is a problem with Indian Hockey Federation, go to olympic council then. Or perhaps China. Given the mass potential in hockey from both these countries, it will a lot more justice for hockey in the future.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous,

Heard the physical trainer is German guy, a physiotherapist specialised in rehabilitation.

No wonder the players run like ducks and the coach keep giving the excuse that the players are not fit.

Maybe ISN can provide us the answer if this guy is qualified to train the team!