The national team resumes training at the National Hockey Stadium on Monday morning and one face will be missing, that of the Chief Coach Paul Revington.
Much has been said, written and speculated by interested parties with regards to the shock resignation of the South African, some 14 days before Malaysia opens it campaign in the World League Round 3 Semi Finals in Johor Baru.
One thing is certain though, Revington will not be on the pitch on Monday to coach the team who will hold their first training session after their four match Test series in South africa in early June.
From the time the decision on Revington's impending resignation ( because he has yet to submit his letter to the National Sports Council - his employers contractually) was made public, until this post is written, efforts are continuing to get Revington to change his mind, at least until the World League matches are over.
A meeting has been scheduled this Tuesday, supposedly to solve the issue between the three parties that first surfaced in March this year. But isn't this a little too late as those who were entrusted to do damage control should have done this much earlier.
The bottom line is Revington has resigned, so any effort to get him to change his mind through punitive action on Juniors Coach k. Dharmaraj will not appease Revington for he made it clear that it is not what he is looking for.
Revington had met Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on May 27 and submitted his resignation letter and a whole three weeks has passed and nothing was done to salvage the situation. let us not even cross the bridge about deciding who was right or wrong as some narrow minded people rather see our hockey diminish then offer suggestions on resolving the issue.
It is people like these who are responsible for the whole scenario as they think that they are gods gift to Malaysian Hockey whilst they are just destroying what has taken much sacrifice to build over the years.
Many officials have shied away from commenting on the current situation facing hockey and from SMS sent out to the likes of NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong, National Team Manager George Koshy, National Juniors Team Manager Mirnawan Nawawi, Juniors Coach Dharmaraj, MHC Senior Vice Presidents S. Shamala and Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad.
Those who replied and gave their comments were as follows:
" It is very sad to hear that he wants to resign. MHC needs to discuss the matter with all, Paul, Arul and all relevent parties to ensure we put all efforts to resolve the matter and for Paul to continue as Coach. The country must be placed ahead of everthing else and all responsible must ensure that the goals set for Round 3 are achieved." - S. Shamala MHC Senior Vice President.
"Revs was hired for a purpose, we have seen the benefits, the boys want him, he has unfinished business, he has to see it through," - George Koshy National Team Manager.
"I am surprised that it has come to this. I am told not to issue any statements and will continue to train my team as usual. I hope this issue can be resolved quickly for the sake of Malaysian Hockey," K. Dharmaraj National Juniors Coach.
Several senior players were also contacted to get their views and many of them echoed similiar sentiments and in a nutshell had this to say.
"We want Revington to stay and see us through for the World league. We are prepared to appeal to the MHC President to ensure Revs stays and want to remain focussed on the task at hand, which is to make it for the World cup. A quick decision and solution will help." - summary of what senior players said.
Revington and his wife had a brieft meeting with HRH Tengku Abdullah this morning and are expected to meet the MHC President again after the NSC pow wow on Tuesday which will see many officials and aggrieved parties sit together to come out with a solution.
Hence there has been no U-Turn by Revington, not until this article has been written and all the 39 year old South African would offer was a statement via SMS that read:
"I am trying to methodically and calmly work ( and think) through everything here.Yes I did meet briefly with HRH Prince abdullah today and we agreed to meet formallyduring the week. Yes, there is a meeting scheduled with Dato Seri Zolkples on Tuesday." - Paul Revington National Coach.
Now coming back to the decision made by the MHC Coaching Committee. It is obvious that the decision to take punitive action against Dharma was drived by personal agenda of some of the members without taking a serious look at the whole situation.
Dharma is a victim of circumstances and if he has any fault then it has to be that he reacts to situations differently from others in his position might do. He has a short fuse and says things that really he does not mean.
To remove him as Juniors Coach is anarchy as he has worked hard over the past three years and even Revington is not agreeable to any action against Dharma. Rightfully the Coaching committee should have formed a three man panel to look at the charges against Dharma and advise him accordingly instead of just looking to remove him, thus fulfilling a personal vendetta dating back to 2009.
To his credit, Dharma did not lose his cool when contacted by this blogger and had a 45 minute chat to clarify his position, most of it off record, something that I intend to honour. Not once did he hold Revington at fault for what transpired.
Hockey in Malaysia needs personalities who can think outside the box and not react to some insane personalities that are just out to demolish what good that has been been built through sheer hard work and effort by a group of talented individuals.
And I shall leave the readers of this blog with a quote from a senior MHF ( read MHF) official who had this to say about the whoile sage.
"This is a hockey problem and should be solved by the hockey officials. Giving it to NSC mkeans that they cannot run their own sport effectively and thus are nbot capable of making firm and tough decisions for the sake of hockey in th country. It is best that these officials vacate their positions and leave the running of hockey to NSC." - A former top MHF official.