MALAYSIA Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was shattered in Dublin when Malaysia failed to qualify for the London Olympics, but he never expected another blow from his trusted lieutenant back home.
Just when he was getting over the Dublin disaster by picking up the pieces and start planning for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, MHC secretary Maninderjit Singh quit his post in a huff, throwing the MHC administration into turmoil.
"I never expected this (resignation) and it came as a shock to me as he (Maninderjit) never even approached me before sending me the quit e-mail.
"And after the e-mail, he did not come and see me to explain matters, so I will leave it at that and look for a suitable candidate," said a visibly upset Tengku Abdullah.
Maninderjit's sudden departure from the MHC has left hockey in the lurch as the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca on May 3-13 and the Azlan Shah Cup on May 24-June 3 in Ipoh are just around the corner.
The former international was appointed as General Manager of the Malaysian Hockey Federation in July 2009 and assumed the position of secretary of MHF in October 2010, simultaneously taking over the MHC secretary's post as well.
"Last year he did say that he wanted to quit and concentrate on furthering his studies, but was persuaded to stay on.
"I expected him to complete his term (end of the year) but he left by e-mail stating the same reason.
"I will leave the matter at this, and instead of dwelling on it, the search for a replacement has started," said Tengku Abdullah.
Malaysia will sit out the Olympics and World Cup for 16 years, as Sydney 2000 and Kuala Lumpur 2002 were their last appearances respectively.
"We have to start gathering the pieces from today, and work towards the Rio Olympics, and the Netherlands World Cup (2014). There is no use looking back, as I have many plans which need to be put into action immediately."