Monday, December 22, 2008

"Realistic approach and wise decision to guarantee hockey future".

My regular at the blog returned after a period of absence. I do not know whether it is because of the "shawal" month or Deepavali celebrations that had kept him busy. Maybe he may have just remained silent awaiting to see what the new MHF set-up would be doing.

Whatever it maybe, every time this person submits an article (which is titled this time), it is an interesting one. At least for me it opens up my mind to give a serious thought to his views.

Below is the text of the article:

"At the moment, the timeline appears to be very pressing for MHF to meet the short term challenges. Logically speaking, without the Coaching Chairman and the National Coach in place, there will be no clear direction as to where Malaysian hockey will be heading. The importance of these two major positions in charting the future of Malaysian hockey is echoed by the Deputy President recently, “The Coaching Committee Head is one of the most important people in an association”. Hence, these two people are vested with the utmost task to see to the re-engineering of Malaysian hockey is heading in the right direction. When the policy of “right people in the right place” is conformed, Malaysia can be assured of meeting the 2016 KPI.

Before the above can materialise, MHF has to find a suitable Coaching Chairman. This task appears to be a mammoth mission as many potential candidates have turn down the job offer which would have been just a walk in the park in normal circumstance. Without the “guarantee” of support and backing at the highest level, no individual will take-on this responsibility. The fears of repeated scenario where the State Coaching Chairman has the power to decide and influence decisions appears to be the most likely reason as to why individuals are shying away. The provision in the current MHF Constitution would require the Coaching Chairman to “report” to them. As witnessed in the last term, this protocol was actually not in the best interest of the game. It is also noted that the damage created by the abuse has created a spiral effect in the coaching and development aspect of the game. As such the policies and mandates must be re-looked into as to realign the best practice going forward.

The National Coach as mentioned earlier would be just as important and is extremely critical area. The end result in 4 to 6 years will depend on our choice of appointment. The criteria in the appointment process will be extremely vital. The 2012 or the 2016 vision will remain an illusion if all facts are not carefully considered. By now MHF must be wise enough and not to repeat the previous mistakes. History must have taught us that the best coach(s) may not convince the Malaysian players to play at their best if we fail to tap our natural ability. Understanding the Malaysian culture and mindset will give us a better picture of what went wrong in the last 10 years. Malaysia like our other Asian counterparts, Pakistan and India could have been blinded by the European success and their methodology with regards to playing on artificial turf. The Asian strong points and approach has been directly suppressed due to this in recent years. If we look-up in the BBC on “The Asian Hockey Decline” interview with various experts, one will understand and be surprised with what is being said about our (Asian countries) oversight in this entire puzzle.

The big question after the “Most Suitable Foreign Coach” appointment will be, Can the coach tap the Malaysian players natural talent, and change the Malaysian mentality and culture to adapt to his playing styles and methodology. Or it should be the other way around instead, where the Malaysian strong points as the core principal in designing the new style and methodology to approach Malaysian hockey.

In area of development, Malaysian hockey must not take the SUKAN TERAS concept as millions has been spend without achieving the desired results. Instead, the program was full of abuse due to the lack of monitoring and supervision at the centres. The scale of the programme was so huge that the implementation was sub-standard coupled with the lack of “qualified coaches”. At the end of the Sukan Teras (ST) programme we fine that players from the Sports Schools and previously TC Schools are the only “factories” to supply players to the Malaysian Under 16 team which took part in the Germany invitation tournament this year. With that said the failure of the ST programme is highly contributed by the poor coaching standards. However the MHF statistic shows a healthy number of Level 1, 2 coaches but the fact remains that this group are mere “paper chase case”. As such working with KPM will be more effective to develop the game at grassroots.

The new national coach will have his hands full within 5 months. No human can achieve the targets set by MHF within this period. The coming SAS tournament and Asia Cup in 5 months time may be the most challenging assignments for any coach since the Malaysian National Hockey Team is currently still in hibernation mode ever since for the past 2 years in terms of training conformance.

To sum-up, MHF is in a dilemma in their attempt to appoint the Coaching Chairman and also to hire the Foreign Head Coach. With the technology today, it is out in the open that MHF is in a desperate position to hire the next best available foreign coach. This makes our bargaining powers extremely poor and I hope that our judgement will not fail us in the long run.. Looking back at the sequence of events, I can’t help thinking and questioning the professionalism and the timing of the press articles on our interest in Kim on the eve of the Olympics. If MHF is currently in a poor position to negotiate his services then it is an obvious reason to it.

The position of the Coaching Chairman will hopefully be taken up by creditable and knowledgeable individual. Just like the search for a capable foreign coach, the number of potential individuals declining the Coaching Chairman job may force Malaysian hockey to end up with a mediocre individual or approach again. A foreign coaching Director could be a solution to this unsettled issue.

With that said, hopefully MHF has a temporary solution to this. And what are the stop gap measures or is there a damage control plan in place. It is not a wise measure if the appointments are to full up the positions only. MHF may be forced to upkeep his services if the candidate is not the right choice due to the above reasons.

Lastly, other than the above, issues that are still pending as highlighted in the open letter require urgent and drastic actions, or else Malaysian Hockey may just be “Heading No Where” even with the new foreign coach.

Malaysia Boleh!"

Looking at the above article, it would be a sad day if any of the Koreans are considered. One of them is being chased by Malaysia while the other is in town "marketing" himself through various known personalities. They would impose a game culture and tactics best suited to the Koreans. Although China may have quickly adopted it but they may have done so because of their close cultural, physical and mental resemblance. If we need coaches to fine tune the skills and tactics of Malaysians without drastically changing the style then the coaches have to come from Europe or Australia. This is provided that the coaches do not get carried away by the Korean approach, where a foreign coach who was in-charge of the Malaysian team so adopted. He may have achieved some good results but at what expense?

How right the author of the article is about the position of Chairman of the Coaching Committee? The Chairman of the Coaching Committee has a key role to play. If we do not have a person who does have the intellect material and the vision, then the TM might as well say "sayonara" to the idea of uplifting Malaysian hockey to world standards. The name that is "bandied" around may have a "doctorate" but the question is whether he is the right person. The TM must talk to him with his close hockey advisers to determine if the choice is right. One must be fair to the candidate so as when he is appointed he knows he has the full support of MHF.

In the interim what is happening to the senior national team and their coaches?


Anonymous said...

Same old story as such hockey is still screwed as the day mhf has the guts to appoint someone out of the so called inner circle nothing changes.Why is a person like M.Mahendran not given a chance to be the national coach,is it because he does not 'kow tow'.Another person that comes to mind for coaching director would be Sri Shan
Afterall we are in the dumps what makes you think that a foreigner will cure our ills in mhf.We have a tendency in believing that is a person out there with a magic wand who can bring back our glory days in the game.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 5:43pm

Reading your comment, I have to seriously conclude that you must Mahendran's & Shan's boot licker and still living in the 80's. These old folks have had their time as national coaches in the 80's and have failed miserably with their coaching methodology and approach, the latter was disgracefully sacked during a tournament in Ipoh, when his obviously trusted aged band of players from his bank (cronyism at the expense of young talents) proved to be a disaster when they were hammered 0-8 by Pakistan. The former was no better with his crude language on players and 'goreng' hockey which got us no where. He couldn't even raise Indonesia's hockey standard at S.E.A. level for crying out loud!
Enough said already, let these old folks retire in peace, looking after their grand children.

Gandhi, said...

A comment that i received needed a bit of editing. The edited text as follows:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""Realistic approach and wise decision to guarantee...":

To anyms 10.42 u must be a person who has limited or zero knowledge of hockey u idiot what was M.Mahendran entrusted to raise Malaysian hockey to.For your information he was given only one assignment at national level and was removed by your so called now disgrace of a national coach (name deleted) bad mouthing.
Please la don't talk about indonesia IT IS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME and on another subject you sound like a suppoter or boot licker for these so called champions of hockey who now know that the degrees they have is worthless piece of paper.Hockey is dommed in Malaysia because of ball carriers like you.