WINDS OF CHANGE: Tengku Abdullah confirms South African as head coach.
STARTING July, former Ireland hockey team coach, Paul Revington will take over as the head coach of the national senior hockey team with the Champions Challenge 1 in Argentina later this year being his first assignment.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who confirmed the appoint ment, said former Malaysian international Arul Selvaraj will be roped in to assist Revington.
Tengku Abdullah said the duo have verbally agreed to chart the future of the national team and all the details, including their contracts will be ironed out soon.
“Both Revington and his assistant Arul are expected to start their coaching duties next month and their first test will be the Champions Challenge 1 in November before the World Cup Qualifiers next year"
“We hope their signing will bring changes to Malaysian hockey especially after the national team’s recent dip in form and failure to qualify for major tournaments, “ he told reporters in Kuantan yesterday.
He said MHC also plans to have a bigger pool of players for national duty and Revington will be given a freehand to pick the players from the Malaysia Hockey League in September and Razak Cup tournament.
“The coaches will also look into the possibility to expand the training squad and maybe have two national teams. We want the juniors to give priority to the Junior World Cup in New Delhi next year while the seniors can focus on other tournaments,” he said adding it would however depend on the pool of players.
Revington’s appointment has put an end to speculation on the candidate to replace Tai Beng Hai, who last led the team to a sixth place finish in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh last month.
The former South Africa and Ireland head coach brings with him a wealth of experience, including guiding South Africa to the 2004 Olympic Games and 2006 World Cup.
Arul teamed up with Revington to coach South Africa, and the duo later joined Ireland in 2008.
In the past, Malaysia have been coached by Australian Terry Walsh, Germans Lissek and Volker Knapp.
Tai Beng Hai has been appointed as the CoachinG Director, to oversee junior development as well as handle a junior side until 2021.