This a continuation from yesterday's Part 1.
· "In the last Under-14 tournament players from Sports School and Tunas Cermelang (TC) Schools were barred from turning out for their home states. The reason behind it was the fear that players from these program may make the Sukan Teras program players look ordinary. Again with protest from all corners, the MSS and TC players were eventually allowed to play. The fear become reality at the tournament as the prediction was correct, MSS and TC players overshadow the Sukan Teras players. The participation of Sports School and TC players can actually uplift the standard of hockey, and their participation can be used as a gauge on the level Sukan Teras Program should be achieving. This will also be the check and balance to see if the Sukan Teras Program is making any progress or heading the right direction after 3 years of implementation.
· The VP of MHF was also quoted saying that the Premier School tournament has destroyed MHF plans to develop the game. Firstly in the case of development the more tournaments simulation the better it is for these young players as the rate of improvement is greater. Secondly the Premier Schools and the Champions School tournaments are two different concepts and target groups. Premier school are part of the big system and a Premier school may not be a sport based/concept school at states. As such the Premier schools may not be the Champions of each state. In actual fact, the action by MHF in cancelling the “actual Champions School tournament” from the calendar is depriving the best schools in the country to play competitively and have a showdown to declare the ultimate best at the tournament. Moreover Premier School tournament is self sufficient, the running of the tournament and financing of it, is all by MOE’s resources, as such what has the Premier School Tournament got to do with MHF or the destruction of MHF development plan? Other disturbing questions:-
Ø Is the decision in closing the chapter on Champions school tournament for the best interest of developing the game?
Ø Is this action destroying any hope of tapping and developing these age group potentials thus the future of Malaysian hockey?
Ø How can the Premier school tournament destroy MHF plans when it is an additional tournament and self-sufficient not requiring any MHF assistance?
· No designated coaches for the age group teams for the last 4 years. The under 14, 16 and 18 were without a designated coach. Even if the coaches were appointed on a “as is where is basis” the training camps did not take place. With that being the situation MHF continue to send National age group teams for overseas tournament without any proper training program. With 1or 2 weeks camp the team goes for a tournament and as a result the Malaysian teams are the whipping boys each time. The funny thing in this is that for the regular participation in the overseas tournament, MHF is diligent enough to seek financial assistance from NSC for this purpose. But for a consistence planned training program, the periodical training phase no effort can be seen in this area. The need to have a continuity and effective Development Plan raised these questions:-
Ø Is there no plan to organise training camp for development?
Ø Why no fund was allocated by NSC for development work?
Ø In the first place, did MHF submit a yearly master plan on this as required in any project for funding purposes?
Ø Is there a need to participate in overseas tournament when the boys are not ready because there was no training camp?
Ø Are there coaches appointed and what is the tenor of appointment?
Ø Are the coaches appointed qualified “Development Coaches”?
Ø Is there continuity in the coaching process for the players? Maybe not because the coaches and managers keep changing and taking turns.
We can write a book about the list of other poor management decisions that has contributed to the destruction of the game, however it may not be appropriate in this column since it is to clear the air.
If we take English football for instance, the importance of development is strongly believed and identified to be the fundamental reason behind England poor showing at international level.
The Star 3rd Sept 08- “SORT OUT YOUR YOUTH SYSTEM FIRST, MOURINHO”
The Special One was quoted saying “The country has to establish a better development programme if it wants to qualify for, and win, major tournaments”
MHF being the parent body has to take responsibility and not continue to blame the Ministry of Education or NSC because development aspect of the game lies with MHF in the first place. When the parent body are not capable in conforming to the basics of their responsibility it would deem as shirking by the normal standard in managing anything. As such MHF has no right to be disappointed when the comatose state of the association is accused of washing their hands off the development aspect of the game which is in the first place rightfully the responsibility of the parent body.
The Premier School and Champion School tournament cannot be an excuse to shirk of responsibility as the manpower needed for umpiring, teachers leave issue and other technical aspect of the tournament are within the controllable scope of the Ministry of Education in the first place. These are the untold version of hard facts which MHF seems to ignore and when continues poor policy, and their failure to appreciate good work by others. The reality remains that MHF’s actions are the main causes for the highly deterioration state of Malaysian hockey.
The blaming game can go on and on, but Malaysian hockey is at the verge of extinction. The big questions to MHF:-
Ø What have MHF done for the age group development in the last 4 years?
Ø Why it is only in the last 4 years that the development area is neglected?
Ø Again, who was responsible for the planning and execution of development programs in the last 4 years?
Ø Why MHF failed to work with MSN and did not have a cordial working relationship with Ministry of Education over the years?
The sudden call by the MHF Vice President for the Ministry of Education to work hand-in-hand will not go down well with the Ministry since all the above points revealed poor cordial working relations and poor decision-making, refusal to accept facts and above all refusal to cooperate with others to develop the game. Time and time again the MOE (the MSS system/players) are at the receiving end.
The call now for alliance with MHF in the aspect of coaching must be scrutinised in depth. As seen today with the elite teams, even MHF Level 3 National coaches failed to demonstrate and execute the basic principle of a coach. Bad influence and guidance saw how the discipline and hockey image deteriorate to and unthinkable stage at the moment. MHF list of coaches being ex-national only give them the slide advantage but their level 3 accreditation remains a piece of paper taking into consideration the quality of the course, background of the coach and instructors involved. With MSSM’s target group being school children, it will be a major factor in the Ministry of Education decision will be critical and the need for the Ministry to be 100% convinced of the arrangement and sharing the same level of confidence with MHF on the use of MHF coaches. Question to ponder on this aspect:-
Ø Is there no other way than the suggestion to use MHF state coaches?
Ø Why MHF did not acknowledge the good work done by teachers?
Ø Why MHF can’t think of a solution and have a plan to train and upgrade the existing teachers in the MSSM system if MHF believe the teachers are “weak” for the betterment of hockey but instead pushing for MSSM to use their state coaches which have proven to do so much for the game?
Ø Is there a difference in MHF and MSSM coaches working with the children in areas of; integrity, ethics, commitment, reliability, trustworthiness, parental guidance, self-esteem, respect, background and lastly knowledge?
Lastly in the first place, why is MSSM / MOE pressured to undertake the organisation of the age group tournaments? After all many parties have overlooked the facts and the answer to the root is purely simple. MSSM was organising the under 12 and 18 to cater for their needs. The changes to 12, 14, 16 and 18 age group format are the decisions by MHF. In view of this if MHF want to abandon any of the tournaments they are shirking their responsibility to develop the game. Since they have single out MSSM old format being weak and not effective in developing the age group, this “job handover” which is not the MSSM primary scope can not be accepted. There is no point forcing down MSSM throat when this mess are not their doing!
When MHF continues to ignore others and practice poor vision, planning and unable to digest and understand the required steps to improve the game, Malaysia don’t stand a chance at international stage. Continues denial and poor perception of facts will elevate the massive destructive rate of Malaysian hockey.
For the good of hockey we hope to see drastic changes in the coming elections and hope the right people are appointed to carry out the task in redeeming Malaysian’s pride. The dead wood must be removed from the system to turn things around. The respective authorities must act immediately so that the children are not deprived of a good development program to secure their potential and future of Malaysian hockey. No individual is above the GAME!
Yes! No individual is above the game. It seem in MHF such a statement does not hold. The maneuvering and manipulation that goes on is purely to sustain power and make life easier for certain personalities. How in January 2008 the Vice President in charge of Development was unceremoniously removed and given the post of Chairman of Competition Committee. That is fine but his replacement is the Chairman of Coaching Committee, who does not even have the "spine" to Chair the meeting with MSSM, when they announced the abdication of the Development programme of Age Groups to MSSM.
The Chairman of Coaching Committee credential in the appointment of coaches show the level he pits his standards. In comparison with what is happening in the rest of the world's hockey community, the Chairman of the Coaching Committee must be an endangered species, whose standards are probably 20 years behind. Therefore where do you think his charges standards would be? This itself would give you an impression why Malaysian hockey is in a diabolical state.
Therefore giving him the additional post of Chairman of Development, is a sure way of "putting the final nail in the coffin." Guess what? It had happened and MHF had abdicated its responsibility in Development.
As for the Vice President who had to become Chairman of Competition, he too has been successfully kept out of the Junior Hockey World Cup, despite the fact the tournament shall also be played in Malaysia. Sadly, his omission does not stop there. Timely, he was also replaced as Secretary of Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), so as he would be out of the circle of people who would be the selected few who have access to the Junior Hockey World Cup information. An ultimate act of illusion.
"Now you see and now you don't see." Probably a new motto of MHF.