Peculiarly, before the post-mortem could be done and while struggling to find a placing of 11th or 12th in the JWC 2009 on home country, the main media and some known bloggers are already carrying the news that the Junior Chief Coach be retained for the 2013 JWC. The argument is that the coach has done a great job in the short time and that should give him the right for the 2013 job.
No! I have nothing against it except why "beat the gun". The coach target was last eight i.e quarter-finals, whereas MHF was semi-finals. It would seem on both the targets we were out of reach. Now the Juniors are struggling to a worse of position than 2005, where Malaysia was 10th.
Lets be logical ! Is it fair to ask for a coach to remain, when he does not meet his own target and above all MHF's unrealistic target. Further the placing of the Juniors is worst off than the previous JWC. Surely, this cannot be an objective call rather it is more like a defence of nominating the coach for the JWC 2009.
We need to realise that Malaysian hockey in a way is "gifted", because of the support of the Government ie NSC, yet our performance does not match the time, money and resources that have been invested. If we look at the other nations and do a comparative study, then we shall understand how we are "molly codling" hockey to the stage we are killing the players' and officials' hunger to succeed.
Why go that far? Compare to the days where players had to use their own resources to don national colours or go on international tournaments including Olympics. Their commitment and success rate was of a sterling nature. The reason being, nothing came easy as today.
Rather than blowing the trumpet of relatively an unfavourable position of the Juniors in the JWC 2009 and attempting to grab the straws to hold on out of desperation, it is paramount an urgent post mortem be carried to determine why the Juniors were "off target" and what should be done to avoid such a situation in the future. Further i believe an analysis of the Junior players be done and determine how best they can fit into the various national teams.
I believe the ideal choice for the post mortem panel is:
- R Yogeswaran - a complete hockey personality.
- Stephen Van Huizen - the most successful Malaysian national coach in the modern era.
- Ow Soon Kooi - a self made rags to riches personality, a former national captain.
- V Sivapathasundram - the teacher from Tampin, who created talents that provided the stars of the various national teams.
- Mokhtar Baharudin - the teacher from Ipoh, who seem to be the modern day "Sivapathasundram".
I think these people can provide a fair position of the Juniors state of affairs and do the needful recommendation. So, blowing the trumpet now particularly as the achievement is completely off target may create a perception that failure is acceptable despite the huge resources that was invested. Lets not pull wool over the eyes.
In the meantime, if the Committee feels Rajan has done a good job and circumstances did not permit him to get the results with the team, I believe MHF should second him for a period of 18 months to the coaching units of one of the top 4 teams in the world like Australia, Germany, Holland or Spain. The condition precedent is that he must get his FIH Level 1 certificate. This way we also start the exercise to train our coaches with an excellence background .
Lets see how serious MHF gets down to repairing the dilemma.