Thursday, June 21, 2012

Revington's the choice

CHARTING FORTUNES: South African to be assisted by Selvaraj
SOUTH African Paul Revington and former Malaysian international Arul Selvaraj have been given the task of reviving hockey in the country.
    The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday held meetings with both the coaches, who are presently in Kuala Lumpur, but the positive outcome is being kept under wraps as MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants to make the official announcement in a few days' time.
    Revington and his assistant Arul first teamed up to coach South Africa, and later joined Ireland in 2008 with the target of taking the Irish into the London Olympics.
   However, Ireland lost to South Korea in the Dublin Olympic Qualifier and Revington threw in the towel. He will now helm Malaysia's senior squad.
   An MHC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "Our president has met Revington and is happy with the coach's determination and commitment. He (Revington) will chart Malaysia's senior future starting with the Champions Challenge I (in Argentina in November) and then the World Cup Qualifier next year."
    Arul, a former national player, has had stints under German Paul Lissek but then left for South Africa, and then Ireland and is now back in Malaysia with his long-time mentor Revington.
    With South Africa, Revington coached for three years and the South Africans moved up to 10th from 14th in the world rankings, and have now qualified for the London Olympics. South Africa, under Revington, also played in the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup.
    As for former national coach Tai Beng Hai, he has been appointed Coaching Director to oversee junior development until 2021.
    "I can't make any comments over the latest developments because I have yet to receive any appointment letter from the MHC. I will wait for the paperwork before commenting," said Beng Hai.
    Beng Hai's resume includes the Invercargill World Cup Qualifier silver as well as the Asian Games silver, but he failed to take Malaysia into the Olympics or the World Cup.
    Arul, when met in Dublin during the Olympic Qualifier, had said: "I have been working in Ireland for the last five years, and if possible, I would like to handle the Malaysian team once more."
    In the past, the Malaysian seniors have been coached by Australian Terry Walsh, Germans Lissek and Volker Knapp and now have a South African.