As i read today's paper i.e the sports pages, i was surprise to see certain names appearing in the various national teams. Surprised because there seems to be an uncoordinated effort in naming names without recognising the various salient points.
It is good that a transition management team is in place for the Senior team. That should have been done much earlier. The fact is that Malaysian hockey is in desperation to get a foreign coach. Time is ticking and the one month timeline seems to have moved 3 times. There is a lack of focus because the position of Chairman of Coaching Committee had remained vacant for various reasons. Although the position is filled, strangely MHF has yet to make an announcement. Is MHF not proud of their own appointee? Even then there are enough rumours in the market that names submitted by the Chairman were set aside because various lobbyists were at work to get their candidates appointed. These lobbyists seem to have significant influence rekindling the issues that confronted the previous MHF set-up.
The people in various elected position are the same personalities, barring the TM and a Vice President. These people now seem to face a new set of lobbyists similar to what was done in the previous set-up. The faces may be new yet the style of getting key friends appointed becomes their order of the day. Some window dressing is done to make the situation plausible.
For the senior squad, the most capped national player in the country is named as an Assistant coach. What the Team Management Committee did not realise is that he is already involved with MHF's Project 2013 undertaken by TNB. TNB had planned and presented this proposal to MHF and they are to underwrite the program. Further this person had lately gone into team management by managing the TNB team for the MHL. The question to ask is whether this person would be more effective with the Age Group i.e Under 16 or the senior team as assistant coach?
A similar question has to be asked of TNB chief coach who is named both in the senior and junior team as assistant coach. Does he have the time to handle both the squads?
On the aspect of team managers for senior and junior squads it seem to be the monopoly of Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) as both of them come from there. I have always maintained that KLHA is doing a great job but do not destroy them by getting their President and Vice President involved. What makes matters even worst for KLHA is that the national Under 16 coach is also from KLHA. It appears there are very powerful forces at work lobbying for KLHA people.
On the Juniors, a known foreign coach who somehow has the characteristics of "love grass" seems to be given the post of coordinator. Again another window dressing as it is well known that he is literally conducting most of the training for the Juniors. There is no doubt he has wealth of experience but the style of modern hockey has changed from his heydays as a top coach in the world. So why all the shenanigans?
Finally, a highly respected sports personality sitting in the Wawasan Committee, a body responsible for supervising the performance of the national teams, is appointed as team manager of the Age Group. The principles of ethics and conflict may burden this personality in performing either of his duties. The story " is not to trouble, troubled waters" rather ensure there is no trouble.
The question is there is now "mumbo jumbo" decision making which is very evident in the Team Management Committee based on what the lobbyists friends want to be done. The symptoms of the past is already starting to haunt MHF and it may destroy the change that is being looked forward to in MHF. TM may be sucked into it without realising the implications but he must realise that at the end of the day he helms MHF and the responsibility is his.