Monday, March 2, 2009

Stories that have been told on the search for a foreign coach: Part 2 - "The caucasian links".

Part 1 - "The Korean entanglement", outlined the start of the story relating to Malaysia's search of a foreign coach. Some are "dumb founded", on one end MHF has the German coach as a consultant for the Juniors and at most times he also advices the Seniors. So why all the charade of looking for a foreign coach. Some argue that the German coach is on contract and therefore it is wise to use him, as his services is available. A very fair response and if the national teams are using him: Why not retain him as the coach?

Some believe the German coach is from the "old school" and his style, tactics and training methodology is not with modern hockey. Yet, he remains a consultant and this aspect of it is "mind boggling" i.e on one side he can be a consultant yet on the other he is not good enough. I wonder why there is this "schizophrenic" thinking.

Having established that the Korean (China's former national coach) is not coming and the German may lack the necessities of being Malaysia's national coach yet again, the search was on in Europe and Australia to fill the promised position of the national coach. Indeed the new President of MHF also joined the chorus and believed that the position shall be occupied within a month.

Originally, the hockey administrators were looking at Spain's national coach, who had just retired from the Spanish team. Indeed, a Malaysian based in Dublin got wind of his retirement and alerted the parties here. The coach is of Dutch origin was contacted and his respond was: " I am tired and i am going to join my wife in South Africa to rest for 1 year". What many did not realise was, this coach was already being considered as Holland's next national coach. I understand that the coach did not want to give rise to any speculation and therefore the best way to put off the initial enquiry from Malaysia was to give such an excuse. Mind you within a month thereafter he was named as Holland's chief coach.

Simultaneously, the Malaysian hockey administrators also approached renowned Australian coach who had just retired as Australia's national coach. A highly experienced and respected coach, he has also coached overseas i.e Britain. He is known to be very result orientated and is in the forefront in adopting modern innovations in sports medicine and sports science. He would have been a "good catch" for Malaysia but he was retiring totally from coaching, in order to get out of the stressful life.

This gentlemen was kind enough to recommend to Malaysia 2 candidates, who at that moment in time were already being considered by New Zealand women's team as coach. One of them was successful and the other continued his role as chief hockey of Western Australia Sports Institute. This person became the target of Malaysian hockey administrators.

Interestingly, the MHF Management Committee requested the Chairman of the Medical Committee to conduct the negotiation. At the same time the e- mail communication was conducted by the Secretary of MHF. I believe somewhere NSC was also involved. Apparently matters were finalised and there was rumour that the Secretary would fly out with the offer to Perth to be executed. Something took place and the concerned Australian seem to have pulled out of the whole deal. Some argue that there was confusion on the Malaysian side and matters were definitely "stalled" to ensure the deal does not materialise. Others indicate that the parties had not finalise matters and the deal just fell through. The jury is still out on it.

This literally means that the seach for a caucasian coach had more or a less come to an end. It would seem that the hockey administrators had to come up with a "face saving" mechanism to find a way of overcoming their own disappointments and the expectation of the hockey faternity.

See you in Part 3 of the journey in search of a foreign coach.

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