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Thursday January 31, 2013

Paulus tells it straight: I’m here to help you all

Listen up: National doubles coach Paulus Firman (right) briefing the men’s doubles players (from left)
Tan Wee Kiong, Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat at the Juara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. —
FAIHAN GHANI / The Star. Listen up: National doubles coach Paulus Firman (right) briefing the men’s doubles players (from left) Tan Wee Kiong, Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat at the Juara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — FAIHAN GHANI / The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles coach Paulus Firman has laid down the ground rules for the men’s doubles players.

The Indonesian, who arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday, quickly got down to work although he officially starts his duties after the Chinese New Year. He met all the players – world No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, world No. 10 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and the newly-formed pair of Mohd Lufti Zaim-Tan Wee Gieen – under his charge at the Juara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

“It was just a formality, meeting the players before I officially start training them. The whole purpose was to inform them that I’m here to help them improve,” said Paulus.

“Of course, I also told them what I expected of them and that we need to work together as a team to achieve success.

“I believe the best working relationship between a coach and his players is communication. I’ll be having further discussions with the players, particularly Kien Keat-Boon Heong, over the next few days.

“Kien Keat-Boon Heong are top-class players and I need to find out just what is holding them back from producing the results,” added Paulus.

Doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her was pleased to see Paulus at the stadium.

“There shouldn’t be any communication problems between him and the players,” said Kim Her.

Earlier, South Korea coach Yoo Yong-sung struggled to communicate with the players and left in a huff after just five months into the job.

“This is Paulus’ first unofficial session with the players. There are no expectations on him yet,” said Kim Her.

“For now, he’s just trying to get a feel of things to get along with the players. Once he settles down, that’s when the real business begins.”

Kim Her, however, has already given Paulus his first assignment – to lead the team to the Indonesian Super League competition from Feb 3-9.

Paulus will leave for Jakarta on Saturday together with men’s singles coach Hendrawan.

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