Friday, June 22, 2012

Signed, sealed and delivered...

By T.N.Alagesh

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.