In the early 2000s, it was told that a core of young coaches were highly disappointed with moans and groans that they were not being given stints to work with the various national teams. They put it down to 1 person, who in those days was responsible for the day to day decisions of MHF. The story goes that there was so much hatred and anger that they were trying ways and means of getting rid of him. He was so well entrenched that it was near impossible to do it.
Luck seem to stare at these core of young coaches, when he followed the then President and voluntarily retired from MHF. Things should have looked better but other than some inroads the main aspect remained the same. Part of the reason is that the previous leadership still had close links with the new leadership and therefore the influence continued. Still one or two made it and not that all was lost. The few manage to exploit the situation and made it a point to understand the operative system that was in place.
When the then President decided not to seek reelection before the expiry of his term in office, various forces started their action plans to take control of MHF. There was sufficient time for the politicking and various strong personalities found themselves in key positions. Yes ! there was a change and the old status quo was shown the exit barring for the new President. There were others from the old status quo group who change accordingly to the flavour of the day. Some may call it the "chameleon" behavioural pattern.
Prior to this, the then Junior National coach had a good relationship with his colleagues in the hockey fraternity and they shared a lot of ideas to transform Malaysian hockey. 2 such persons were the Manager of the EY team and its coach. They plotted together the EY game plan and strategy including encouraging the national players to join the EY team. This created the initial influx to the ultimate monopolistic control of national players when the Junior Coach got promoted as the National Coach for the senior team. Was this coincidental or otherwise, is something that is still being speculated.
The relationship between the then National Coach and the EY coach started to show signs of strain and the talk was that the National Coach had a "fear"syndrome of the success of the EY coach and this he probably realise could constitute a "threat" to him. The other possibility was the growing influence the National coach was having with MHF and the fact that there were stories of the "make or break" strength he had on certain issues. The rumour was, he made sure that the EY coach would not make his way into the hierarchy of coaching in MHF. Again all these seem speculation and it is difficult to confirm any of the stories.
On the other side, it is said that the EY Manager has always maintained a good relationship with both the coaches. This is probably a shrewd aspect as their relationship may come useful in the future. So why create "enemies" when you have to always look back to guard yourself. This thinking is probably a sound basis of leading life.
Now that the EY team is to pullout of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL), the peculiar aspect is that the EY manager is rather silent about his players, who are still on contract with EY. Some believe that he may release them after the World Cup qualifiers in November, so, as their National Team Manager he still has control over the players, who are mainly from EY. The other opinion and probably looking more certain is having another team with the same players where National Team Manager may have indirect interest. There is a believe that this arrangement is being worked out so as to avoid utilizing EY's name and at the same time being able to overcome some of the conflict issues. This probably is a prudent way of disengaging oneself and maintaining the standards to which one is trained.
If the new team materialises, then the question of the coach becomes the issue. EY's coach is already with the Project 2013 Team and such he would not be available. There are no other coaches of an accepted standard who can fit the position, except for the former national coach. Further his indulgence with the Johor Under-18 and winning the national tournament has obviously got his "adrenalin" flowing. The latest news about him in the alternative media also provides some form of insight that he still wants to coach. The more persuasive argument would be that all these players were under him either in the National Juniors or Seniors or both. As such he knows them and they know him and therefore they all may speak the same language.
Time shall be the judge of the issues that is being speculated above. Whichever way what must benefit out of all these maneuvering, if any, should be Malaysian hockey and not any single individual or group only. That is the key for Malaysian hockey to move forward.