Hockey; From coach to coach perhaps?

The national Hockey team has concluded its four match friendly against Korea last Thursday.

It resulted in one win, one draw and two defeats, with Malaysia scoring eight goals and conceding ten.

The team comprises of players that are almost certain to feature in the two match olympic qualifier play off against Great Britain on November 2 and 3 at Lea Valley London.

Yes, there are 32 days between now and the first of that matches and there is another tour planned for Europe just before the team heads to London.

The coach Roelant Oltmans is reported to be trying some “ new” tactics in the Korea tour and this resulted in such outcome.

Mind you, our media played up the fact that Malaysia managed to scored three field goals in the last match which they lose 4-5.

Never mind the fact that Malaysia took a 1-0 lead, then 2-0, followed by 3-2.

They contend all is well just because we had scored the three field goals.

But the reality of the matter, and one of grave concern was the fact that we conceded five goals in that match from penalty corners.

More often than not Malaysia tends to recruit “ expert” coaches in certain departments to shore up the teams ability.

These were identified as weak points of the team that needed the touch of these so called specialist coaches, costing a bomb to rectify.

It started with a goalkeeper coach from Holland, then there was a tackling coach from Australia as our defenders were said to be weak in tackling,

Next came a penalty corner drag flick coach as we were not scoring enough from penalty corners.

And lo behold, it was then revealed we needed a strikers coach to help our players score goals as they were not clinical in the semi circle, and an Aussie was hired.

Excuses were always available when the team did not do well, hence these additional help was roped in upon the request of the chief coach.

One has to also remember that our current coach cane in after our collapse in the final of the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.

Malaysia had led Japan 5-2 with 15 minutes remaining and virtually the “ boarding” passes for Tokyo were issued for the flight.

But we failed, allowing Japan to draw level 5-5, but we managed to lead 6-5 and conceded the equaliser with 13 seconds to go,

In came Oltmans, the renowned coach who had won Olynpic and World Cup medals.

But a year down the line, with so many playing yours, is our team on the right path towards ending the 20 year drought of playing in the Olympics?

Yes we all want then in Tokyo, including me, despite the fact that the leadership at the national body will not change should they qualify.

But ask yourself one honest question – are we being honest on the preparation of the team?

We see India, who have a relatively easy match against Russia defeating Belgium 2-0, hammering Spain 6-1 and 5-1.

Yet while we go on tours, preparing intensively, all we have done is collect air miles that could get us free flights.

We conceded 5 penalty corner goals against Korea, and Jang Jong Hyun played in our MHL.

Hence our players know him inside out but yet allowed him to destroy our penalty corner defence single handedly.

Are we now in need of another expert coach, perhaps a run out coach to coach our runners in penalty corner situations?

Or maybe we need an expert coach to coach the coach?

Malaysian Hockey needs a complete “ dialysis” , whether we qualify or not for Tokyo.

Our “ kidneys” have failed and we just have to accept the fact that our nephrologist failed to identify the problem a year after our urine secreted protein.

So be it if being on life support will save the sport, at least there is an option to keep the sport a alive.

So act before it’s too late, enough of excuses. Start pushing the right buttons and god willing., a sweet word that is so amazing and full of spectrum , will surely see us triumph over Great Britain.

Or so one imagines.