Monday, November 23, 2009


Update: Am told that MHF and NSC have agreed to allow Nor Saiful Zaini and K. Dharmaraj to coach TNB and KL Hockey Club respectively. Look forward to a battle of wits beteen these two when their teams square off against each other.

The Malaysian Hockey League gets underway on December 4 and the musical chairs for coaches has been going on for quite sometime, no thanks to some decisions made by MHF at the eleventh hour and shifting the blame on the NSC.

It seems the likes of K. Dharmaraj, Nor Azlan Bakar, Nor Saiful Zaini and Lailin Abu Hassan are not allowed to coach any of the teams in the MHL as they are gainfully employed as coaches of the various teams in the national set-up. The decision was taken by the MHF and the NSC it seems were obliged to follow what MHF had decided.

On the other hand, the likes of Stephen van Huizen and K. Rajan are said to be out of favour by Sapura and TNB respectively for contrasting reasons. While Stephen is not able to commit fulltime to Sapura's cause, Rajan it is learnt has been a victim of a smear campaign led by some overzealous personalities and some within TNB. Hence it was deemed that Rajan be left out to safeguard the image of TNB, all due to some anonymous comments left on a blog of late.

So effectively Sapura, TNB and KL Hockey Club are now "coach less".

As to why MHF opted to prevent the coaches in the national set-up to earn some extra income by rendering their services to clubs is beyond comprehension. Stuart Pearce is the England Under 21 coach, but at the same time he managed Manchester City in 2007, dual roles were ok for England FA but not for MHF.

So it is now learnt that Rajan, discarded by TNB, may well be on his way to coach Sapura, and ironically the two teams square of against each other in the Charity Shield match on December 4. But there is also talk that Stephen could well play a part with BJSS coach S. Prakash appointed as chief coach of Sapura.

With Dharma out, R. Vivekananda is expected to chart the fortunes of KL Hockey Club, leaving TNB yet to decide on who is coaching them.

While all of this musical chairs goes on, UniKL has been going around preparing their team under I. Vikneswaran and assisted by K. Embaraj, ironically the assistant coach of Sapura last season.