Thursday, August 19, 2010

The national coach should not be singled out alone - "It is a collective responsibility of everyone"

Following my article: On tours playing mediocre hockey teams - "There must be problems in team management" dated 10th August 2010, the national coach has been receiving a certain amount of flak in the comments. The question is:" whether it is fair to single him out"? Can the national coach unilaterally make decisions without going through the approval procedures and processes? I think that is something we have to explore before the "blameworthiness" is placed on a certain party or parties.

The coach came into the scene early this year. Without doubt he is the most experienced and successful local coach with the former national teams. Prior to current appointment he had been off the international arena for at least a good 8 years. Fortunately he has kept abreast with hockey by coaching one of the MHL teams.

The issue at hand is about the 3 built-up tours for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

The pertinent matters are the following:
  • Timing of tours ie Visit to Australia when the Australian national team was away in Europe preparing for Champions Trophy, then now the visit to Europe, after the Champions Trophy when the participating countries have no reason to keep their national teams together.

  • Playing with teams that are of lower ranking like Pakistan 2nd team and Russia on tour to China. Similar approach was adopted in Australia ie clubs and Institute of Australian Sports teams. Consistent approach is being maintained for the European tour during the fasting month ie clubs and teams of lower ranking namely Ireland, Scotland, France and Poland.

  • Planning for warm-up matches seems to omit matches for the last 2 months prior to the Commonwealth and Asian Games. A diabolical state of affairs to planning and even in this 11th hour MHF is trying to get an invitational event going but without much success.

When we look at the thought process that has gone into it, one wonders what is the purpose of playing with mediocre teams. After all at the Commonwealth Games we have Australia, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Pakistan who are ranked well above us also bidding for medals. Whereas in Asian Games, we have South Korea, India, Pakistan and China ranked above us too. Therefore in realistic terms are the tours really serving a purpose to prepare the team for winning medals?

There must be collective responsibilities as the system in place seems to have "rubber stamped" the whole idea of the tours without taking an indepth analytical position of pertinent matters. It seems every party or parties had condoned the tours without realising the implications. How can this happen when it involves the following:

  1. The team manager is supposed to be responsible for the administration of the team. He is usually the spokesperson and at tournaments he gives the impression of a concerned face in television, yet he too seems to have endorsed the plans. Even if he is outnumbered in team management, he still has the Team Management Committee which is chaired by the Deputy President.

  2. Team Management Committee (TMC) is supposed to overseer the high performance teams of MHF. Although this Committee itself is embroiled in controversy as to its formation, it originally seemed to yield great powers. Sitting in this Committee is also a key NSC official who seems to have significant influence on the Committee's decisions. Again i wonder how this Committee just "rubber stamped" the details of the tours without giving a thought to various drawbacks.

  3. MHF Management Committee is ultimately responsible for whatever happens in Malaysian hockey. This therefore poses the question as to what information was provided to the Management Committee for them to get caught in endorsing such tours. Maybe they too decided just to be another "rubber stamping" body without giving any due consideration to the matter.

  4. The National Sports Council (NSC), the financier for the tours, seems to have taken the same approach as the TMC and MHF Management Committee. NSC seems to endorse the expenditure and the plans of the tour without asking the relevant questions. It would seem there is no need to justify the expenditure including its basis. It would seem that so long as NSC has the budget, why not spent the money. This begs the question whether NSC is the proper guardian to Malaysian sports and its funds.
From the above you could realise that everyone just allowed the tours to take place without prompting to ask the right questions taking account the big picture. So we end up playing 2nd rated teams at a time that does not make sense to the top teams in the world. It just shows how the whole system could not act as "check and balance" to badly planned, ill timed tours which is only going to provide the wrong perception to our players.

So to blame the national coach is not right. The system did not intellectually engage the coach to discuss the plan of the tours and constructively modify it to suit the need requirements of all parties concerned. I presume this is why we have not progressed to the top world rankings when our own officials from the top to bottom cannot put together plans to take us there. Absolutely sad to what is happening with the national team.


Anonymous said...

Mr Ghandi,

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX" so not to trigger happy!!!

"The "nine dots" puzzle. The goal of the puzzle is to link all 9 dots using four straight lines or less, without lifting the pen. One solution appears below.Thinking outside the box (sometimes erroneously called "thinking out of the box" or "thinking outside the square") is to think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel, creative and smart thinking.

This is sometimes called a process of lateral thought. The catchphrase, or cliché, has become widely used in business environments, especially by management consultants and executive coaches, and has spawned a number of advertising slogans. To think outside the box is to look further and try not to think of the obvious things, but try and think beyond that".

As a former Olympian over breakfast coffee reading your blog actually opens up my perception about the national hockey team. Because of your article and the comments that followed after that made me THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

I do tend to agree with you to a certain extend on the person(s) who made the decisions on the national team’s programme, must be reprimanded. This is especially when the poor planning can affect the Asian games program. More importantly wasting public money.

Those responsible must take responsibility and shown the door out.

However, do we consider the other side of the coin if this is actually the intended programme being executed according to planning?

1. Playing a weaker team may allow the team to test or experiment better in the run-up to the Asian games.
2. What are the dates of the 2012 Olympics. Is this a dry run?

So Mr Ghandi this could probably the reasons from a former hockey player’s point of view after reading the your blog.

The coming election and the “experts local coaches” may not have painted an accurate debate on the national team’s programme but used your blog as a forum to “sell the country” or “sell their souls”.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

we should note that when our project 2013 went for an european tour, it was made to understand that coutries like germany and holland did want to play with us. doesnt matter,but it is beleived that they played some other good teams like spain and against older players. Further number of wins and the number of goals scored were impressive. They scored more than 20 goals against some good club sides in holland. This would certainly be in the minds of the dutch. Likewise, the senior team should obtain similiar scores to earn some respect in the future.You are saying that they are playing second rated teams thus assuming you are better than them. If you can show that if you can beat them by a big margin then only they can be considered as second rated team. Otherwise you and them are the same and you will be considered third rated if you lose to them. if you say that for exposure of all players and trying various tactics and results does not matter then you would not be getting better teams to play even later.
No use blaming the team manager or the administrative team. the team and the coaches have to realise that wins by good margins would save their face at least in the meantime. when the project 2013 and dharma can do it certainly the senior boys who have much experience must be be able to make this tour a sucessful one

Anonymous said...

Dear intellectual Gandhi.

The system may not have intellectually engage the intellectual coach to discuss on intellectual tours but the intellectual coach will intellectually know what is intelectually needed and and what is intellectually not needed for his intellectual team and players. This intellectual coach can than intellectually inform his intellectual team managers the necessary requirements for his intellectual team. His intellectual team managars will than intellectually arrange prompt intellectual tours for the intellectual Team accordingly.

Hense, the performance and success of the national intellectual team or mediocre team is in the hands of the intellectual coach or the mediocre coach whichever category he belongs to.

Intellectual commentor

Anonymous said...

Mr Ghandi,

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence (thought and reason) and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity. In socialist theory, it is necessary to explain how a "workers'" movement can be led by those who have never held jobs. As such, intellectuals are an adjunct to the working class".

We try to be intelligent or show that we are one intelligent b******!

We are actually living in the stone age when there are so many flows mentioned in the blog.

The facts remains that someone has FU****-UP the national teams programme.

Can the someone be a man and take responsibility!

1976 Olympian

Anonymous said...

MALAYSIA beat an undercooked Ireland 4-2 in their second ‘un-friendly’ in Belfield last night.
The first match ended 3-3, while in the second, Malaysia saw one red card and a yellow which diluted their strength.
Ireland coach Paul Revington fielded an inexperienced side for both the matches, with one Irish website commenting the first friendly as: “ Ireland side made up of mainly possible rather than probable major tournament players.”
And the website described the second friendly as: “Malaysia withstood 37 minutes of suspensions to roast an undercooked Ireland.”

also go to by
for an embarrassing report from Irish reporter who watched the match.
2nd Ireland team hold malaysia 3-3 and then lose only 4-2. Ayoyo in van Huizen sakit kepala ooi..

Anonymous said...


Looking at the list of players available at Irish Hockey web, it is very unfair to take potshots at the national hockey team.

The test is played between 2 senior men’s national hockey teams.

The last comment in your blog by August 20, 2010 5:20 PM clearly indicates that these are hypocrites.

On top of that the Jugking is paid to report the facts as they as call reporters and not editors to speculate or ride on articles from other blog.

Maybe the effects of the round table beers are doing the writing.

His editor must be amused with his approach.

Your point of collective responsibility should be practised. The culprits that screw-up the programme must be taken to task for misusing of public funds.

The question here is the benefits of playing Ireland. Is this a buddy to buddy arrangement to promote a Malaysian coach in Ireland?

The Ireland "assistant coach" has commented that they will be out for the Malaysian’s scalp.

“The Irish players have day jobs so they don’t train on a regular basis unlike the Malaysian team. We’ve got Joe Brennan, who’s a fireman, and Timmy Cockram, who is a lawyer. The players come from diverse backgrounds but their enthusiasm in the sport is simply overwhelming.

“The players paid for two psychologists to be brought from South Africa and they will be with us during the Tests against Malaysia,” Arul added.

Arul reckons goalkeeper David Harte will be a difficult man to beat.

“Harte has been performing really well. I’d say he’s one of the finest goalkeepers in the world.

“The other players are equally great but we’ve made several changes to the team as the seasoned players have retired. I know the Malaysians have quite a young side as well so it’ll be interesting to see how we fare against them.

“We played Malaysia thrice last year, the last being a 2-1 for us during last year’s Champions Challenge in July. Technically, the Malaysians have the advantage but I honestly believe the Irish team are tactically better. It’ll be a good test for both teams.”
Source : Malay Mail

Meanwhile, commenting on the upcoming matches Coach Paul Revington said "Our Team needs to continue to accumulate game and competition experience and these events provide this opportunity. The current challenge for our team will be playing these test matches after a period of necessary rest and recovery for the players, knowing that the players will be competing with international teams at the peak of their respective summer programs. The team however showed a good balance of technical quality and emotional strength during the recent summer period and I know they will arrive back on the 14th August determined to make the most of these test match and competition opportunities before they start their respective club seasons."

Source : Irish Hockey

Name Position Caps Age
David Harte GK 39 22
Iain Walker GK 19 23
Ronan Gormley Def 82 27
John Jackson Def 27 24
Joe Brennan Def 24 28
Conor Harte Def 26 22
Tim Lewis Def 48 23
David Ames Mid 6 21
Andrew McC Mid 8 25
David Hobbs Mid 135 25
John Jermyn Mid 97 25
Geoff McCabe Mid 47 24
Timothy Coc Fwd 81 26
Mitch Darling Fwd 26 22
Eugene Ma Fwd 88 24
Phelie Magu Fwd 76 26
Michael Watt Fwd 54 23
Alan Sothern Fwd 23 23
Peter Caruth Fwd 9 21
Gareth Watki Fwd 5 25

So in all fairness the Irish team is not the 2nd team but a well prepared team for the test.

Malaysia Boleh!

mahatma said...

Voices in MHF

G-rgeKy: I hate it when I send a super long message and the reply is "OK"

Dar-a: I hate it when I get soo excited for somethings and it never happens.

SVHn: The feelings when I am so screwup, I don't even care anymore. The head says 'Who cares but my heart whispers "You do stupid...".

S-rj-t: Sometimes, I say "I am OK" when I am not ok.... cause best friend is hard to find as the best one was already mine.

Dar-a: "You have enemies", "OMG".
Good, that means you have stood up for something.

SVHn: OK listen, "This is what you gona say if you are caught for something......."everyone shut the F'ck up" and smile stupidly.

M-ke: Log on your password incorrect. "OMG, Im hacked". ooh wait your caps lock is on.

G--rgeKy: A true friend is a friend who see's the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes its a fake smile. ('Heheehe' What's up.) "the sky" OMG go die.

SVHn: The happiest man don't get the best of everything. He makes use of the best he has. RajniKanth can't help you now-- busy with Endhiran the robot. Do your homework and life gets better. Pretend that you don't care but don't ignore.

Prak--h.S: My name is Exam and I believe the word 'studying' was derived from the word "students dying". dude.

Raj-n: I missed a chance of a life time for the project T. wish the next would be mine".

Prak--h: C.L.A S.S. come late and start sleeping.

Ga-dhi: Its funny when when I am loud, people tell me to be quite. But when I am quite, people ask me, "is all OK".

Got a call. Saying "yeah,I am on my way when you are still at your PC". I really need to go, Bye.

Relax and smile. Ctrl done.

Anonymous said...


Your article dated : Monday, Dec 22nd, 2008.

"Realistic approach and wise decision to guarantee success."

For the debating point of view would the current system get us out of this rot?

After nearly 2 years, are we safe to say that all loose ends are taken care off?

1. Is the right people in the place?

2. Is the right people getting the support?

3. Are the strategies already in place to achieve the KPIs?

4. Have we move forward/achieved our short term goals?

Anonymous said...


U SAID : So in all fairness the Irish team is not the 2nd team but a well prepared team for the test.

Malaysia Boleh!

PAUL REVINGTON SAID IN THE THIRD TEST: Paul Revington made wholescale changes with John Jackson, Eugene Magee, Mitch Darling, Timmy Cockram and Conor Harte making their first appearances since the summer break with Andy McConnell, David Ames and Ronan Gormley coming back into the side.
And the coach admitted afterwards the changes led to a rusty performance, taking over 45 minutes to truly click into gear.
Speaking after the game, Revington said: “We are disappointed to lose in the final minute having worked hard to get back into the game. Also we are disappointed that two of the goals came from one v one situations that we lost and that needs to be rectified.
“I thought this group took 35 minutes to get back into international standard of the game tempo and showed in the second half that they equally matched the pace and tempo of Malaysians.


Anonymous said...

and when the Ireland best play against Malaysia's best, minus only Kumar and kelvinder, they win the fourth test 2-1.
That my friend is a learning curve, 3-3, lose 4-2, lose 3-2, then win 2-1.
Malaysia is also on the learning curve, learning how to lose.
Also ghandi, what is happening to selvaraju? he did well in France but no mention of him in the press and van huizen never take him to europe. His career kaput?

Anonymous said...

Ghandi, pls dont call Ireland as a second rated team. Australia can call them as such. Malaysians cannot. It is just like a pot calling kettle black. People will not only laugh at you but at all of us too. The headache has started for MHF I presume. Not all the antibiotics of the world can relieve this pain. We should look on to Dharma who arguebly seems to be the only saviour.He can prepare team like maggi mee cepat dimasak

Anonymous said...

Coffeeshop talks.

"ooohhh....OMG..we lost to Ireland in the last match....... says MHF disappointingly."
"This time, we field the young play?" says SVHn with stars spinning in his ears.

"An'EX' is called an 'EX' because it is an EXample of whom you shouldn't date in future". "What about EX-national coach........" a former national player asks....

Did you do your homework, SVHn?
"What homework...You think this is pepsi or coca cola advertisment ahh...aahh.....I love winning all the time. What can I do...this is the best that I have""". This man 'telling stories aahhhh.......'

"Many aah complaininglah SVHn about your performance"......says one Asst manager. " Just tell them to shutup and stop acting like they know better".

"My keeper made a mistake. I can't stop thinking how silly he was. Then watching the video repeatedly, it was my defending error. oohh my shit"

One female player tells another, "A girl kisses two guys- she's a slut... A guy bangs five girls- he's a legend."
"Ohhhmyyy...One coach wins one game, draws afew and looses many. what is he". the other girl asks.

Thank you...thank you Ireland for taking Arul. Now please take StephenVHn.

When my internet is down, I sometimes forget the rest of my computer still works.
Its ORKUT to say we have a weak team when we have good players. Its like leaving the phone on silent mode and you can't find it.

Your wife wakes you up... "Please, please I just need another 5 more minutes...7:05...7.10...7.15.... 7.20..????" CRAP. And when you wake up, its too late.... It's not just about being perfect, It's about being the BEST. The countdown for Olympic qualifier had started.

"Just change the way you think and everything changes" as the first comment dated 20/08/10 says "Think Outside The Box"

Anonymous said...

f**k up u gandhi..