Monday, May 25, 2009

Hockey gossip - "Threatening to resign"

From Ipoh, after the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament to the aftermath of Asia Cup in Kuantan, it would seem there is consistent gossip of the Team Manager of the National Team wanting to resign. This so called "threatening" to resign seems like someone calling "bluff" in a poker game. Is there any truth to the whole issue?

The surprising aspect is, no one really knows the reasons except the aspect of wanting to resign. It seems from the corridors of Royal Selangor Club to MHF office to the designated office of a key NSC staff office, discussions are ongoing about the potential resignation and how best to ensure it does not happen. According to the gossip this is the 3rd time such an issue has been raise since he was appointed as the team manager hardly 6 to 7 months ago. Strangely, all those involved are avoiding addressing the issues confronting the problem but rather wanting to tighten with unofficial directives, so as the clique system can be sustained.

The past MHF regime then had what is referred to as the "Johor Mafia" and they paid the price of what they undertook when it came to the knowledge of the Affiliates and the hockey fraternity. Today, without the knowledge of the TM, apparently there is another "Mafia" in action and rumours term it as the "Melaka Mafia". Sources indicate that the group is made up 4 to 5 people and some of them are present at the MHF Management meetings and also with the Team Management Committee (TMC). It is rumoured that this group tends to meet regularly and recommend what is to be done and what is to be pursued. They have their networking and are able to pursue and ensure things can be made to happen. Their networking provides insights of what is happening in MHF and also NSC.

It would be wrong for me to say that such things do not take place anywhere else in the world. The point being if it is done for the betterment of Malaysian hockey, then the issues may not become glaring. This is where the issues become "clouded" for example in the nomination of the Advisers to the National coaches. The names were announced even without talking to the personalities including their terms of appointment. I wonder whether the national coaches were even consulted. Further, people are just picked based on likes and dislikes but not on proper vetting process of having the best. Time and time again this group executes this sort of style, as the TMC had done in appointing coaches and team managers for the various national teams.

In all honesty, some of what is being done now is repetitive of what was done by the previous regime. Therefore is there a change that was earnestly called by the Affiliates and the hockey fraternity. The TM is new to hockey and he may not realise some of this significant points.

So, if the national team manager wants to resign, he should be given the freedom to do so. Nobody is indispensable. If it was the coaches then i think we should take a 2nd look as they are the ones who are in contact with the players and invest most of the time with them. The team manager is a PR face for the team and really not involved in the "nuts and bolts" of the team from discipline to training to tactics and even selection. Sometimes people in this position can be interfering and disruptive and thereby creating greater problem then assistance.

Indeed if he wants to resign, lets not hold him back. There are a number of former stars in the likes of Ramakrishnan, Ow Soon Kooi, K Balasingam, M A Sambu, Maninderjit Singh (Mike), Ahmad Fadzil and many others who can also perform the job. Lets not worry too much about it unless people have vested interest like the "Melaka Mafia".

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