In my article on 14th March titled: National Juniors - Is it another reflection of the "sinking" standard of Malaysian hockey?, i was highly critical of the national junior coach. Forecasting to be the final of the 4 nation tournament at Johor Baru, the Juniors were struggling to beat a minnow team like Singapore. However yesterday for the 3/4th placing the Juniors thrashed the Singaporeans 6-0.
So am I going to unwind my earlier criticism? Before I get to that answer, I firstly must congratulate the team, coach and the team management for bouncing back and getting the right results. This I owe to them and I must do it.
It is good the Juniors bounce back but we must not get too excited. It is only Singapore and on the first place we should have had that score when we initially played them. Still it is tremendous that they came back with full of venom to win the game with a high score. Some may believe that we are bullying a weak team. Whatever it is, there was creditability in the Juniors performance.
The national coach must appreciate that by holding such a position, he is in the limelight and therefore everything he does is under scrutiny by the public. If he decides to open his mouth and make comments that is not reasonable, he deserves to be criticise. This is what that took place before the tournament. He may argue that it was confidence building but even then it has to be on a reasonable basis , not based on "bullshitting". The coach must not underestimate the hockey fans. The fans get disgusted when they are promised the "heaven" and in reality they are getting "hell" by the team's performance.
I therefore stand by my earlier comment and i do hope that the junior coach is careful and thoughtful on his pre-tournament comments. Anyway I wish him the very best in his finsl leg of preparation for the Junior World Cup in June.