Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hockey gossip - "Prima Donnas among players"

The Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia explains the term "prima donna" as an Italian term used to designate the leading female singer in an opera. Legendarily these "prima donnas" were often regarded as egotistical, unreasonable and irritable with a high opinion of themselves not shared by others.

With this as the backdrop, the question to ask is whether there is such "prima donnas" in the national team and how has this created the gossips of the team manager wanting to resign on 3 occasions.

The current national team is mainly inherited from the old regime and the then gossips seem to reflect the absences of proper structure and order. Therefore when the new regime came and there was a change of guards in the coaching team, the current coaches brought a number of basics back to the training methodology. The changes that came into force includes training commencing at 6 in the morning, fitness is now a key issue while smoking, alcohol consumption and late nights during training days have become a "no go" matter, rehabilitation of injured players are carefully monitored plus the development of comradeship among players by staying together as a team during centralised training. Gossips reflect that there are a few who cannot appreciate nor respect the changes and this included a colourful senior player.

The "test of wills" came into play when certain players had come for training after a late night outing smelling of alcohol. According to the gossips this was not the 1st time and the coaches had no choice but to enforce the rules. Stories indicate that the team manger wanted time to settle the matter and nothing came out of it. Sources also state that the coaches were put in a difficult situation as they were not implementing the rules they set and they were in a "loss face" scenario. Meanwhile, the senior player who was an involved party in the drinking and late night episodes had started a "back biting" campaign against the coaches in the presences of the other players. The story continues that the coaches "dropped" the player in a game and that made matters even worst.

Meantime, the Deputy President misled the TM when he enquired why the player was not playing. The Deputy President indicated that the senior player was injured and when the TM by chance checked out, the TM found out it was for discipline reasons. Why was the Deputy President working on a different frequency? Was it because he was unaware or doing a cover up? Still, why embark on such acts?

While this was going on certain parties who people believe are part of the "Melaka Mafia" were canvassing for the senior player to become a regular in the national squad as oppose to being a substitute. It shows the depth of various "tentacles" at work. Again the question: "Is this necessary?", as the coaches are the best people to know what is best for the team.

Gossips reflect that all these were being done to assists the team manager, for most of the players involved in discipline issues come from his club. The team manager is caught in a difficult position, as any decision at the national level may have repercussions at club level. This is what the talk is about and I am unable to confirm if that is the team manager's thinking. One thing is definite that the issues have not been fully resolved and even the punishments recommended by the coaches have been reduced by 50%. It reflects that the coaches have no power.

Stories coming out about the national team seem to further reflect that the team manager have had meetings with the players in the absences of the coaches and other team consultants. A very strange act, as there is now a feeling that cliques are developing and "players power" maybe emerging. This is where the "prime donnas" or those in making may be "bad mouthing" the coaches and creating an untenable position for the coaches. There is talk that announcing certain "Advisers" of which barring 1, the others do not have a success track record to take the post and maneuvering rightful information reaching the TM is the way to control what is going on. The question: "Why is all this being done?"

Time would give us the answer. On the meantime does MHF have the precious time to allow for all these bickering?


ex international said...

You can cheat some people some of the time but not all the time.Anyway the question to ask is what school did this dp of mhf play,was it the blue school or yellow school.

Anonymous said...

I just cant see why the Team Manager accepted the role without even considering the position he is in. He runs his own club team with "kind gestures". Its ok for club level hockey in Malaysia with the benefit of having the entire national team playing for him. They supposedly carry all the available trophies the country can offer. No one team can come near them on this terms. However, they were struggling and after 7 years they carried the MHL with mere luck ie another opposing partyboy miss flick during the flickout. Most successful team? They should be but they aren't. Why? They party even before major games, leave aside weak games. Well, this is accepted by the Club coaches and Managers. Nothing wrong with that. But at the international level, its a different platform. Individual's discipline in and outside the field comes to play. Your preparation before and after training sessions plays an important role. The players need to understand this. Well, that's a different subject entirely. The issue in hand is how the manager going cope to the change i.e. wear different hats. Really difficult. The partyboys see him as the saviour at the expense of discipline. Clear cut conflict of interest. The best option is for him to resign and play a different role for the betterment of malaysian hockey eg providing strategic ideas. 2nd option is let the coaches run the show and provide a support. Never undermine their capabilities both in and outside the field approach. The team need a revolution and its not just change. We know the manager is a nice person and in the process he wants to be famous. But there are differences between being Good and nice.