FIH HOMEPAGE -- KIM Sang Ryul raised more than a few eyebrows at the Athens Olympics when he said he found it impossible to handle a women’s team.
“All they want to do is colour their hair, paint their nails and go shopping.” he said.
Now the former Korean women’s coach has taken up a new challenge with the China men’s squad.
Will he take up a Malaysian challenge after the Beijing Olympics?
THE Malaysian Hockey Federation’s (MHF) coaching committee chairman C. Paramalingam claims to have no knowledge but the National Sports Council (NSC) has made it known that it prefers a foreigner to handle the national team.
NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong has spoken to MHF deputy president Tunku Majid, indicating that the agency will fully support should the federation decide to go foreign.
“I had a meeting with (MHF deputy president) Tunku Majid (Sultan Iskandar) where it was verbally agreed that South Korean Kim Sang Ryul be hired because he has proven to be a coach of caliber. Maybe Tunku Majid has yet to brief the coaching committee.”
And the NSC is thinking about a full-time coach, not a consultant.
“We have an excellent set of players in the national team now, but sadly, they have not shown any improvement under local coaches. Players like Ismail Abu and Tengku (Ahmad) Tajuddin (both strikers) are potential world-class players, but have not improved over the years.
“I feel that a foreign coach like Kim can help their progress. But I would like to state that the decision is in the hands of the MHF, and we are merely playing a supporting role.”
Sang Ryul is now coaching the China team, and he was instrumental in the hosts qualifying for the Olympics, on merit, by finishing second in the Doha Asian Games.
“Kim has a contract with China until the Olympics, and if the MHF wants him, they can have him as a full-time coach after that,” said Zolkples.
However, the coaching committee is totally against a full-time foreign coach.
“Sarjit Singh (current national coach), was tasked to qualify for the 2010 Delhi World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics without the need to go through a qualifier when he was appointed in January 2007.
“I strongly disagree on a full-time foreign coach as even the MHF council had only endorsed a striker consultant to help Sarjit.
“There is something sinister in this move, because when Sarjit delivered in 2007 by finishing second in the Azlan Shah Cup and third in the Asia Cup, nobody questioned his capabilities.
“And then, there was never a target of qualifying for the Olympics after Germany were dumped in our group. The target was to reach the final, and that was missed by a whisker when Japan scored the disputed equaliser,” said Paramalingam.
The national team have no major assignment this year, but are in training for the 2009 Asia Cup, which offers a direct entry into the Delhi World Cup.