Monday, September 7, 2015
Van Huizen the chosen one...
STEPHEN van Huizen was the chosen one when the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) named the senior men's coach for the next two years.
Assisted by Lim Chiow Chuan, both of them are tasked with whipping up a team which would hopefully take the country back into its glory days by qualifying for the 2018 India World Cup, and then the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hand-picked by Technical director Terry Walsh and the MHC Coaching Committee chaired by Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, among the challenges the duo would face are changing the players mindset.
"First of all I would like to thank the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) for selecting me as chief coach. I take the challenge, and among the areas that need to be improved to get back into the World Cup and Olympics is to change their mindset into winners," said Van Huizen who assisted Tai Beng Hai in the failed attempt to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Then, playing in Belgium, Malaysia had two chances to qualify for the Olympics but an inferior attitude saw them lose to India in the quarter-finals and then to Ireland in the fifth-sixth classification.
For the juniors, Arul Selvaraj has been retained and he will be assisted by Amin Rahim and Jivan Mohan.
The MHC will also include a clause in the coaches contract, which will no longer allow them to coach club sides in the Malaysia Hockey League as well as Junior Hockey League. Currently, Arul Selvaraj is coaching Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the MHL.
Walsh, optimistic about his new appointments, said: "Don't expect overnight changes but gradually we will work towards qualifying for the World Cup and Olympics. It might take 12 to 19 months, and there might be changes in the player line-up as many from the present batch would not be able to sustain the pace until 2020."
Coaching committee chairman Soon Kooi said Van Huizen was selected as he is the most successful coach to date.
"Van Huizen took us to the last Olympics through the Osaka Olympic qualifier (sixth in 2000) and also he is the only coach who has won a silver medal for Malaysia in the Asian Games (2010 Guangzhou)," said Soon Kooi, who was a former Malaysian skipper.
COACHING set-up: Men's senior: Coach -- Stephen van Huizen, Assistant: Lim Chiow Chuan; Juniors: Coach -- Arul Selvaraj, Assistants: Amin Rahim and Jiwa Mohan.
Women's senior: Nasihin Nubli; Juniors: Lailin Abu Hassan.
Development Director: Tai Beng Hai.