KUALA LUMPUR: Losing two key players within six months is a cause for concern but national men’s singles coach Hendrawan is taking it all in his stride.
On Monday, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif announced that he was ending his 10-year tenure in the national set-up in a bid to revive his career as an independent player. The 23-year-old, ranked No. 1 in Hendrawan’s team, has not won any major titles since joining the elite squad two years ago.
Earlier in January, reigning national champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun walked out of Hendrawan’s squad to train with his father Misbun under the Nusa Mahsuri club.
Former world champion Hendrawan, who was roped in by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to strengthen the back-up team four years ago, is now left with five players - Goh Soon Huat, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Loh Wei Sheng, Nur Azryn Ayub and Goh Giap Chin.
Hendrawan said he would not allow the recent turn of events to dampen his spirit.
“I was surprised with Arif’s decision. I asked whether he had put a lot of thought into his decision. He said he had and I wished him all the best. We cannot stop them if they have made up their mind,” said Hendrawan.
He added that his job was to produce world beaters and he would continue with his endeavour.
“I have five players now and I will continue to do my part to lift their standards,” he said.
Out of the five, Soon Huat and Iskandar have shown the most significant progress.