Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mike: Forget about current batch...

OLYMPIAN Maninderjit Singh feels the current senior national team should be disbanded as Malaysia look forward to four major tournaments in the next five years.
  This came about after Brazil qualified for the semi-finals of the Pan American and met the criteria set by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to play as Olympic hosts.
  Brazil upset United States 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out, after 1-1 regulation score, and dashed World League fifth reserves Malaysia's hopes of playing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
  "With no more chance of playing in next year's Olympics, the current senior squad should be disbanded and plans be formulated leading towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  "Looking at the age of this team, about eight of them would be too old to play good hockey by the next Olympics, and also, there are three more important tournaments to qualify and play in," said Maninderjit who also briefly held the post of secretary in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
  And there are three tournaments in 2018. World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
  "A detailed plan leading to the qualifications of the World Cup and Olympics must be formulated, and targets set for the men's and women's as well as both the junior teams.
  "The MHC must also come out with a code of conduct for players, as this was one of the problems which led to a dismal outing in many previous tournaments," said Maninderjit.
  Malaysia ranked 12th in the World, last played in the Olympics in Sydney 2000, where Maninderjit was a defender.
  "The CEO (K. Logan Raj) must also monitor the progress of all four teams and call for a monthly review. The task is heavy, but  Malaysia must wake up early, or they will find themselves playing in qualifiers without any real hope of playing in the World Cup and Olympics," said Maninderjit.
  MHC have already received the World League Semi-finals report from coach Tai Beng Hai and and it will be reviewed by the coaching committee either at the end of the month or first week of August.
  And when the MHC Executive Board meets in the middle of August, they are expected to name a foreign coach, highly likely Australian Terry Walsh, to become the Technical Director and chart Malaysia's path towards the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.