HOCKEY: Let's start walking first

As published in Mailsport today

By Vijhay Vick

PETALING JAYA - Stop playing the blame game and get back to the basics.
Former coach C. Paramalingam believes the way to revive Malaysian hockey, which has been in a slide, must start from the bottom instead of going for short term successes.

Yesterday, he told Mailsport the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) should stop insisting on hiring a foreign coach when more could be done at improving coaches at all levels locally.

With internal bickering in the national body and finger pointing, he insisted while MHC could be doing more, other stakeholders have to play their role too.

"Why do we keep blaming MHC for the failures of our hockey? We must stop that. Everyone has a role to play but many aren't doing it ... or at least as effective as it was in the past," said Paramalingam.

"Many ex-players could get themselves back in the game in a more serious manner. They do not need to run for office to help but it could be as simple as training a bunch of kids weekly.

"Imagine if all our former players coach just five to 10 children. We will have a big pool of players. I'm doing my part with a bunch of boys in Klang every Sunday."

Paramalingam, who turned 80 on Nov 15, believes the system must change too.

"The Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) needs to impose restrictions on number of guest players and national players. Limit to two of each as in the past. This will encourage more teams to participate as the competition is not just among the select few richer clubs.

"Even the school competition must revert back to the days when it was taken seriously. Now, it is merely a carnival format where they play 10, 20-minute matches over a couple of days only," he said.
As for the national body, Paramalingam was against the idea of employing a foreign coach as he believes it would not bring much success in the long run. He opined, hiring a foreign consultant instead would be a better option.

Yesterday, MHC senior vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and secretary general Datuk Johari Abdul Aziz met Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to discuss the appointment of former Australian international Neil Hawgood, whose highest credential is coaching the Indian women's national team.


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