National Juniors coach, K. Dharmaraj (centre) speaking to his charges after the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup last year, has been promoted to one of the assistants to senior squad head coach Paul Revington. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: K. Dharmaraj, who guided Malaysia to finish a creditable fourth in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi last month, has been “promoted” to the senior hockey team.
He has been picked to be one of the five assistant coaches to national coach Paul Revington.
The national hockey team will now have a panel of six coaches to help them put up a strong challenge in tournaments.
The other assistant coaches are S. Arulselvaraj, K. Gobinathan, Nur Azlan Bakar and M. Nadarajah.
Gobinathan and Nur Azlan assisted Dharmaraj for the Junior World Cup while Nadarajah is the goalkeepers coach.
Last year, South African Revington was only assisted by Arulselvaraj.
The coaches learnt of their new appointments after a meeting with Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah in Kuantan yesterday.
The 45-year-old Dharmaraj, who has been the National Juniors coach since 2010, said that he is happy with his new duties.
“I have carried out my duties and responsibilities well at the junior level and I hope to do much better with the seniors,” said the former international, who was set a target of guiding the team to a top six finish among 16 teams in the Junior World Cup last year.
“I had a stressful three years as the National Juniors coach but I always look forward to new challenges.
“I always wanted to be the national seniors coach and I am honoured to be given the chance to be part of the national team,” added Dharmaraj, who will take up his new role some time this week.
Dharmaraj, who guided Malaysia to victory in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca in 2012, said that his main task would be to help Malaysia qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Malaysia have qualified for the World Cup (in The Hague, Holland, in May) but have not qualified for the Olympics since Sydney in 2000,” said Dharmaraj, who featured in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
MHC secretary Datuk Johari Aziz said that Lim Chiow Chuan and Tai Beng Hai had been named as the caretakers of the National Juniors.
“They will use the Under-19 MJHL (Malaysian Junior Hockey League) starting this Friday to call up players for the National Juniors.
“We are in the midst of naming locals as the national junior coaches to help Malaysia qualify for the 2016 Junior World Cup,” said Johari.
Former international Mohd Nasihin Nubli will continue coaching the national women’s team and he will be assisted by Jiwa Mohan and Ernawati Mahmud while another ex-international Lailin Abu Hassan has been appointed as the national women’s juniors coach.
Johari said that Lailin has been asked to name his two assistants.