A year has passed and ironically the report card dates Friday the 13th as we evaluate the performances of the new MHC as it wants to be known.
This evaluation is done with an open mind, putting aside personal differences or friendship in the name of Hockey, so that in the end those who read it with an open mind will be receptive to the ideas and suggestions put forward.
It is not my opinion alone but done after consultations with The Hockey Senate, a loose group of individuals who only have one thing - a passion for Hockey that is second to none.
We will start with evaluation of the various Sub Committees of the MHC. Due to the absence of any published of public Key Performance Index, we shall depend on the various press reports, both before and after the new committees were formed on May 30.
The May 13 date was when the BGM was held and hence the one year report card.
Any improvement to the dire status quo can only be facilitated if we have a team of officials who not only love the game of hockey dearly, but also are prepared to sacrifice their time and commitment towards the cause.
This must be done in tandem with properly planned strategies for the intention of revitalizing the National hockey team and installing the structure that can create world class players and officials.
Therefore, all relevant stakeholders need to look at the following points in order for National hockey team to firstly survive and then for Malaysia to become World Class hockey nation:
NATIONAL TEAM MANGEMENT COMMITTEE
Has not done much as the national team has played in two major tournaments, at senior and junior levels.
Both ended up failures as the senior team failed at the Olympic qualifiers while the juniors failed to make the grade for the 2016 Junior World Cup.
The Committee should be monitoring the program better as it was clear that the teams did not play quality matches in the run up to the tournaments.
Imagine the Juniors played the SEA Games, SOJC and had a Kotean tour to show.
But are things being improved?
Not when we play the likes of Inner Mongolia and Japan. A point of contention..why not tour Europe or plsy with teams preparing for the Olympics?
The composition of the Committee should be looked at as those who can generate ideas and vet training programs should be included if making the national team is the KPI.
Hence this committee will only be awarded a "C" for their year in review and below are ideas to look into.
Foreign League Attachment
A minimum of seven (7) players to be attached in Europe and Australia first class league and the players selected must be below age of 23. These seven players will be the future backbone of the National team and the composition will be 1 Goalkeeper, 2 Defenders, 2 Midfielders and 2 Forwards and from this at least 2 players must be Penalty Corner Flickers. Modern hockey is all about Penalty Corners conversion and defending it.
High Performance Unit
Employing a qualified and experienced High Performance Director with supporting staff to re-evaluate the followings:
National Teams’ Program
Technical and Tactical
Supervision & Monitoring
Adoption of Innovation
Sport Science application
Structure of National Teams and National Players Salary Structure
MHC needs to have four (4) National Teams in which are 2 National Senior Team (A & B) with two back up squad of Project 2020 and Project 2024 to address the next Junior World Cups.
A good National Senior Team must have internal and external pressure of players competing among themselves to make the grades. When the team has quality of 40 players, the Coaches could make proper decision and this will create “hunger” for the players to perform in training and matches.
As for remuneration, every end of the month, this both teams will play a series of best of three and after the series the Coaches will rename the players for Team A & B. In doing so, each player is able to ensure that he:
Earns as many caps by being in first team
Sustains an achievable level of fitness based on scorecard
Gets rewards for winning and is penalized for not performing
The National Team A will play in all the major tournaments where else the Team B will address the lower ranked events such as Sea Games and other invitational tournaments.
Quality of Matches for Test and Friendly Matches
From now on any matches for National team must be at least ranked 8th and below. About 30-40 matches of such quality must be arranged. It goes for Senior and all the Project Squads.
And as for annual Sultan Azlan Cup and Sultan Johor Cup, the teams that are invited must be of great credential and I suggest all teams invited must be ranked 10th and above but the participating teams must send at least 80% of first team players and not development squads.
Much was promised but in reality it has been status quo so far.
The much talked about revamps of the various national tournaments has yet to be done and the revival of the Hussein Onn Cup or having a Super League has yet to materialise.
The absence of a two year competition cake der is another sore point.
But there are plus points as they have a hands on Chairman in George Koshy who tries his best within his ability.
There are marked improvements in terms of calling of entries, holding of competitions as it is more Organised and well managed.
The introduction of the Tournament Management Software has made things more professional and the number of teams participating has increased in age group tournaments.
For the effort it will be fair to accord the Committee a "A-".
And these are areas that George should pay attention to.
Malaysian Hockey Lesgue
Competitiveness of Malaysian Hockey League and Junior Hockey League
These both events need to “rejuvenate” literally means to make it new and it means:
New Image and Branding
Updated Rules and Regulations
When organizing the calendar, the importance of setting of the dates for such events which will allow high class foreign players to ply their trade in MHL and JHL. The best period for MHL is always from November to January and JHL from February to April. And 4 years of calendars (2016 till 2020) must be established to comprehend the quality of the tournaments.
This high level competitiveness will provide the National Coaches to gauge and undertake talent scouting for National teams. Therefore, all National Coaches must not be allowed to coach club teams and they must be doing selection and parting knowledge to club hockey coaches and ratifying national players’ mistakes from time to time. This is to avoid any conflict of interest at both levels and its effect on National Team program and quality of selection made by Coaches.
Benefit and Burden Rule Not Equitable
The system in place only seems to reward the players. This is being done in the hope that players perform. More often than not, the system of just paying and rewarding seems not to levy a great burden to perform. A system of penalty must be imposed to ensure that “benefit and burden” rule has an equitable role in the teams’ performance. A code of conduct must be established to curb the disciplinary and absenteeism issues.
One of the most improved committees as they have at the very least given credibility to a coach.
Led by no nonesense chairman Dato Ow Soon Kooi, things like appointment of coaches early, holding coaching seminars, having a hands on approach are areas where this committee succeeded.
While there have been voices of disgruntled coaches on the appointment of coaches, the fact that changes were made shows the committee was analytical on the methodology in hiring a coach.
But coming up with a proper remuneration package for local coaches was a coup that should be applauded.
In terms of rating this committee deserves an 'AA' for their deliver ability and effort to think out of the box, though the appointment could have been more transparent as a global search could have yielded a wider pool.
Must have minimum qualification of FIH Level 1
More than 10 years of Coaching experience
Must handled one of the National Team (minimum period of 4 years)
Quality Success Profile with a list of achievement with the various national team and at least has coached a Olympic or World Cup team and attain results.
List of know-how and experience on Technologies related to sport of hockey.
Latest training methodology taking into account of changing phases of modern hockey.
Manner of experience and interaction with supporting team such as sports science, fitness, physiology, strength, dietician and psychologist.
My intention is to ensure that the standard of hockey is returned to its former glory, so that some day it may even surpass it. It is a matter of national pride that Malaysia re-attains her position as one of the top teams in the world.
This appeal is done for the love of the sport, country and in the hope that the nation’s flag is always hoisted to fly proudly in the international hockey arena.
A committee that worked overtime to overcome the debts inherited. Their ability to convince sponsors and rake in the sponsorship is music to the ears. Despite the many constraints as they do not have a marketable product given the failure of the national teams, they have done very well.
But at the same time handing out gifts in terms of grants to states, especially the League grants must be re-looked as it does not serve the right purpose.
Reward states who deliver and perhaps this will be done in the coming year.
Still a great effort and it deserves a 'AA +" for its work.
An area that has been neglected these few years and has shown good improvement.
With Logan Raj at the helm, he knows that having a good relationship with states and stake holders as well as having a sound secretariat has done a world of good.
Despite working under constraints, Logan has managed to change perception of those who view Hockey negatively.
This blog was critical of his ability but over the last year he has shown tremendous resilience and made efforts to change MHC for the better.
With a more sound support, Logan, if given a free hand, could help shape the future of Malaysian Hockey.
But the departure of long serving staff is a matter of concern as it takes time to train capable replacements, something the sport does not have.
So overall the administration has improved with a 'A' and Logan deserving "AA".
We will stop here for today as there is much to read and digest.
There are many committees to look at in the next article, Media, High Performance, Development, Hockey 5's, Indoor Hockey, 1Mas, International Affairs and Umpires.
Suffice to say only the Umpires Committee has done better then expected while the others have been a total failure to say the least. We will discuss them in the next posting.
And I will end with this phrase - “The price of excellence is discipline and the cost of mediocrity is disappointment”.