An unprecedented act by the TM in having a column in the Sunday Times about the first 3 months of his leadership in MHF. I call it unprecedented because no other President of any National Sports Association (NSAs) have done it. There were arguments that the TM's column was too general and they may be right. For me, the more important point is TM's willingness to pen his thoughts on paper and permitting the public at large to read about it. In fact what the TM has done is to permit hockey lovers and fans to become stakeholders of the game. Bravo TM !!!!!
While the TM had elaborated that he is new to the management of hockey, I have no doubt that he is learning fast. Just to remind the TM of his days in "DeTAS", which was a Pahang hockey outfit participating in the national league around the late 1980s. I still remember seeing the TM sitting at the bench with the other players and watching his team play. Interesting aspect was seeing him in shorts and t-shirt and talking with the players. Maybe that little indulgence must have given the taste for TM to look at the bigger picture of MHF.
Reviewing what the TM wrote, it is good to note a number of affiliates are getting back to the basics and having state league plus development. This is good for hockey and MHF should be proud of it and publicise the details. It would give the public a better sense of appreciation and also provide greater impetus to support the game. Indeed it was very frank of the TM to state that in his own home state he had to ensure the revival of the league and also getting young kids involved in the game. Here is the classic of "leadership by example".
As the TM noted it has been a busy 3 months and he is yet to meet either the Senior or Junior players. I hope he does that soon as they carry the "hopes" of the nation and in them we trust the the country's international hockey fate. The issue of fitness, smoking, late nights, including the aspects of the allegation of match fixing and the rehabilitation of injured players must be addressed. This is important and especially a "pep" talk by the TM. Indeed if the TM could host a dinner for the players, it would go a long way to give a boost to the players and display the support.
While I take it that it has been a busy 3 months for the TM, i hope he is given my article ".......and it is 3 months, the Report Card of MHF" dated 2nd February 2009 in this blog. He must have an independent assessment of what is happening in Malaysian hockey. It is to give the TM some in-depth information so as he could do the necessary things as he takes Malaysian hockey forward. I must state that we want Malaysian hockey to flourish and if TM can do it, WHY NOT?
Therefore in doing that Report Card, what i was trying to communicate is that there are substantial matters that need to be addressed and they all must be expeditiously done in the proper way. The Report Card is to assists MHF move in the right direction, if people choose to use it for that purpose. However, if people see it as a basis to criticise the MHF leadership, then I must say that the term "Report Card" has lost its original meaning.
A note of caution to MHF, that the next 3 to 4 months are critical. The various national teams shall be involved in a number of tournaments and their performance shall in a way be the "dip stick" of the standard of Malaysian hockey. It is not going to be the tour to Korea or Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy but the Asia Cup, not the 4 nation Junior tournament or tour to Europe but the Junior World Cup. As for the Under 16, it shall be their tournament in Hamburg and not their tour matches. This is the real test and whatever is written in the Report Card can be shredded if the teams come out with flying colours in their performance.