THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) finally put to rest the coaching ‘dispute’ when they decided yesterday to forget about their hunt for a foreign coach, and rely on locals until the 2012 London Olympics.
And the chosen one is Stephen van Huizen, with Tai Beng Hai assisting him.
“I would like to put to rest the issue about coaching by saying that the MHF council had endorsed Stephen as chief coach and Beng Hai as his assistant until the London Olympics.
“We will no longer look for a foreign coach until that period,” said MHF president Tunku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after the council meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The foreigner on MHF’s mind was Netherlands Roelant Oltmans, but he already has a two year contract with a Dutch clubside.
“This two coaches will handle the team for the Azlan Shah Cup next month, and then the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
“And what we are looking is to improve our world ranking. We were 16th before the World Cup Qualifier last year and after reaching the final, we have been elevated to 14th.
“It is a good step towards achieving our target of breaking into the top-ten in the world,” said Tengku Abdullah.
There was a hectic discussion on the coaching committee’s role in MHF, as many felt that it had the absolute power to appoint coaches, while others felt it only had the right to nominate names for the council to decide on.
“We will amend the MHF constitution soon to clear some grey areas so that the daily running and responsibilities of the various committees will be more clearly defined,” said Tengku Abdullah.
Meanwhile, SM Teknik Klang pulled out of the JUnior Hockey League (JHL) starting on April 9, and now there will be nine teams in Division One and Nine in Division Two.
The national women’s team will be playing in Division One for the first time, and if they win the title, they will be eligible for the prize money as well.
The National Sports Council and Milo are the core sponsors for the JHL.