The Malaysian national team has become so important that all other events that may involve senior national players take a secondary position. The Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) was delayed taking account of the national team's preparation for Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy, Asia Cup and lately the FIH Champion Challenge II tournament in Dublin. That had been the priority and everything else came to a standstill, save for the Razak Cup, even then the national team was on tour. A very unique arrangement.
Today MHF is at dilemma with the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand in November. Prior to that date there is no local activities for the national players to be engaged in, as all tournaments where they could participate is literally postponed to after the qualifier. This special breed of players and their officials including those in MHF cannot be disturbed from their sole focus ie the Qualifiers.
At least that is the perception that is being created. Time and time again this argument from the past has shown that it is a "fallacy". Time and time again as the rest of hockey remains "stagnant" in the country when the national team is in centralised training, our special breed of players to whom so much importance is placed, does not seem to reciprocate the so called unique arrangements. If any, all that is being done is our World ranking is continuously slipping and pretty fast too.
One area i got to give credit of late is that MHF seem to have developed a bit of foresight. Mind you they have started to contemplate what happens if Malaysia qualifies for the World Cup at New Delhi in February 2010. It is an outside chance but yet they are concerned if the reality prevails. Guess what? The 1st casualty would be the MHL, which is scheduled to be held in November 2009 after the qualifiers. One suggestion is to have the 2009 MHL after the World Cup probably in 2010. The reason being this special breed of players yet again need to focus for the World Cup without any distractions. Not that they do not have any distractions now, from partying to heavy consumption of alcohol to returning wee hours of the morning. All these are done while they are at centralised training and possibly on "off days" when they need to recover.
So why all the fuss? Malaysia is probably the only country in world hockey that goes into such extremes including postponing its NATIONAL LEAGUE. Yes! we want to make life easier and simpler for our players but all we do is to encourage their mind to become weaker, such that they are unable to take on the pressure both in and out of the field. How than do we expect Malaysia to take on the world when we pamper our players to such a state.
I do strongly suggest to our coaches and team management to revisit the various video recordings and find out how often the team "cracks" and allows the goals when they are under constant pressure. That statistics would show you the clueless nature of our players under stress conditions. They are like that because of what MHF has done and is still doing ie giving them everything at the expense of the rest in Malaysian hockey. All we get is weak minded players who do not know how to react to various scenarios in the field, as they do not have the experience to face the real life situations. In short they live in a "made believe world".
Many in MHF may not understand this, as none of their elected office bearers have played or coached national hockey or for that matter state hockey or even state hockey league. So the decision makers may not be fully appreciated of the scenarios outlined. They obviously want to give the best to the players in the hope the players would reciprocate with the best too. It has not worked out that way and it is not going to work in the future too. Revisit and study as there are enough empirical evidence to state that a change in our approaches is required. Do not remain "stagnant" or not we would just be "sucked" in with failures that we would be in an irreparable position in world hockey. Please MHF do something urgently and constructive !!!!!!!!!