Sunday, November 29, 2009

For country or club?

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation’s (MHF) stand to bar national coaches from handling Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) clubs took their coaching committee as well as the affected coaches by surprise, and a meeting will be held next week to iron out some technicalities.
Coaching committee chairman Dr Balbir Singh said he had used a precedent which allowed national coaches to be actively involved in the MHL, but the National Sports Council is now against it.
“Under the previous chairman (Datuk R. Yogeswaran) is was a practice to allow coaches under the NSC payroll to also be hired by clubs for the MHL, but since the NSC and also the MHF council is against it for this season, I will call for a meeting next week to sort out some matters which arose from the decision,” said Dr Balbir.
The national coaches in question are Tai Beng Hai, who used to coach Maybank, K. Dharmaraj (Ernst & Young) and Nor Saiful Zaini, Nor Azlan Bakar, K. Rajan and Lailin Abu Hassan who are all Tenaga employees and also TNB club coaches.
“I believe there is going to be a problem with the TNB team as all their employee-cum-coaches will not be able to coach their own club. This is among the problems which the committee will discuss next week. However, we will abide by the decision taken by the MHF council,” said Dr Balbir.
The MHF took the stand on Saturday, when they held their Annual General Meeting in Kuantan. The council wanted their coaches to watch the matches from the sideline and scout for talent instead.
The stand has its pros-and-cons, and some of the coaches felt that their welfare should be taken care off, before such decisions are taken.
“Take for example a coach who is earning RM750 per month for being an assistant at the age-group level. It is unfair not to allow him to coach a club and earn extra money as well as experience in the MHL,” said a coach who did not want to be identified.
“There are also coaches who have not been paid for months, and I believe arranging for their long over-due pay- cheque should be a priority, followed by monthly pay, if the MHF want us to become scouts instead of coaches.
“All the said coaches live in Kuala Lumpur, and it is difficult to support a family with the allowance we receive from the NSC, if we are not allowed to coach clubs to earn extra income,” said another coach.
The MHL Premier Division starts on Dec 4 with a Charity Shield match between Sapura and TNB at the Tun Razak Stadium.
The other teams in the League are UniKL, KL Hockey Club, Nur Insafi and Maybank. The MHF have yet to release the team lists, as many teams have been made coach-less.