Mohd Shahrun Nabil (left) was made captain of the national hockey team in 2012 when then-coach Paul Revington took charge of the side. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey players are in shock. They had no inkling that their chief coach Paul Revington was going to resign.
The South African coach announced his resignation on Sunday, saying his main reason for quitting the national team was a stress-related illness.
National skipper Mohd Shahrun Nabil couldn’t believe the news.
“We (the players) are shocked as everything was going on fine,” said Nabil.
“I am surprised that he quit because of stress. We (the players) never had any problems with him.
“He was a good coach, who helped the team progress in tournaments. He also guided the national team to qualify for the World Cup after a lapse of 12 years,” said Nabil.
The 28-year-old Nabil said that he is thankful to Revington for making him the national team captain since October 2012 when the South African took over as coach.
“It has been a great honour to wear the arm band since the Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Argentina in November 2012 and to know that Revington had faith in me,” said Nabil, who has 246 international caps to his credit.
Defender Azlan Misron, who is the most senior player in the team with 327 international caps, said that he too is surprised by the announcement.
“This is an important year for the national team as we have five major tournaments and we could have used his guidance.
“As a player, I will continue to focus on my training and work with new national chief coach K. Dharmaraj, who has replaced Revington,” said Azlan, who has donned the national colours since 2001.
Defender Baljit Singh, 28, said that he is sad that Revington has left.
“We have to respect his decision and continue to train for the tournaments this year,” said Baljit.
“We have faith in Dharmaraj, who has proven to be a calibre coach by helping the national juniors finish fourth in the Junior World Cup (in New Delhi last month).
“I believe Dharmaraj is the right man to handle the national team for the tournaments this year,” said Baljit, who has represented Malaysia 168 times.