When players are Under 16, they are usually at Form 3 or 4 and in a way the pressures are not that heavy as students preparing for SPM. Therefore these young lads (exception being the PMR students) would have more time to concentrate on hockey. With the trip to Germany at the end of the tunnel, it would have set a real competition for the players. An expectation has been built up for these young boys, who would probably be making their 1st overseas trip or getting into a plane or visiting a distant place like Europe.
To this end, I know the Under 16 National Coach and the Team Manager have been working hard and planning carefully to take a a strong squad to Germany. Indeed the coach went out of the way to ensure that there was a teacher as an assistant coach in the team. The team manager being committed to the team, even choose to resign from the powerful MHF committees like the Wawasan Committee and the Team Management Committee (TMC) realising that conflict of interest may arise. These are the things these former hockey internationals have done, as they took up their national duties as coach and manager for the 1st time.
Obviously they must be disappointed that the Under 16 trip to Germany was cancelled in the 11th hour. These 2 brave lads have not expressed their views and are very guarded as they do not want to create any controversy. They must understand the feeling of the players but they do not want to add any aggravation, as they have a duty to perform. I still think the excuse of "swine fever" as a reason for cancellation is not consistent to hold much ground.
Surprisingly, as a makeshift measure a last minute tour was organised to Singapore. I do not believe this was done because Singapore is recognised as a hockey nation but more to mitigate the disappointment of the young lads from the cancelled tour to Germany. It would seem any tour even maybe to Medan would have sufficed but then it would be more expensive than Singapore and probably Medan may not have an astro turf field.
All in all some expectations were fulfilled and hopefully the saga of the cancelled tour to Germany would be forgotten. The more fundamental question is the potential damage this may have done and the burden that is being placed on the coach and the team manager to whip back the enthusiasm and interest among the players.
Why is the job of the coach and the manager for the Under 16 made so difficult by the lack of a thought process in decision making?