NATIONAL hockey coach Sarjit Singh had a
meet-the-press session yesterday, and his only
bone of contention was that he had to read in the
papers that his contract will not be extended. Otherwise, he has no regrets coaching for the
past 22 months, as his record shows that he is
the most successfull local or foreign coach for
the past decade.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) council
decided on Saturday not to extend his contract,
which expires on Dec 31. The council is now
looking towards hiring South Korean coach Kim
Sang Ryul instead.
"I feel a little sad that I had to read in the
papers that my contract will not be renewed. I
feel the proper way would have been to inform me
first, and then make the announcement," lamented
"Im also disappointed that the new MHF council
members did not meet with me to discuss, or hear
me out. The NSC (National Sports Council) who are
my paymasters, also did not talk to me about it,
although its their preregotive to make any
changes," said Sarjit.
But still, the former national skipper bears no
grudge against any party:
"I accept the change
and will take leave to assess my options. I would
like to be involved with hockey in the future,
but at what level, it still remains to be seen." When Sarjit took over in 2007, the national
team were ranked 16th, and now they are 15th.
"When I was appointed as national coach, the
task given to me was to prepare a team for the
2010 World Cup and the 2012 Olympics. And I would
like to state here that the Olympic Qualifiers in
Japan (April this year) was not a target set for
me, because the team had failed in the Doha Asian
Games, and were forced into the Qualifier.
"The Olympic Qualidiers in Japan was a
difficult tournament, as world No 1 Germany were
in our pool. Germany went on to win the Olympics
gold, and that sould tell what we were against,"
During his 22-month stint, Sarjit succeeded in
taking his team to silver in the 2007 Azlan Shah
Cup, a feat which was last achieved 22 years ago. And his charges also finished with a bronze
medal in the Asia Cup, which was a first for
"My team also finsihed second in the recent
Hamburg Masters, which was the best achievement
by Malaysia as our previous best was a bronze in
"I feel it is unfair to be fast on the draw
when it involves local coaches, as we should be
given at least four years to prove ourselves,
like what the foreign coaches are given.
" He has set a target of Qualifying for the 2010
World Cup by virtue of the Asia Cup next year,
and the 2012 Olympics by being among the top-two
in the Asian Games.
"Lasty I would like to wish the new MHF
council all the best, and hope they will be able
to take hockey to a higher level.
"I would like to end by thanking all my players
who had given their full co-operation, as well as
former MHF deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan
Iskandar and the former MHF coaching committee."