KUALA LUMPUR: Indra Wijaya has an unenviable task on his hands.
The new Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coach, who reported for duty at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on Thursday, has been tasked to produce singles stars.
And the Indonesian, on a two-year contract, has seven shuttlers – Cheam June Wei, R. Satheishtharan, Yeoh Seng Zoe, Chin Wai Kin, Lee Zii Jia, Tan Jia Wei and Muhd Syafiq Jamaluddin – to work with.
He was Malaysia’s top pick following the good job he had done in raising the standard of the Korean singles players over the last two and a half years as their coach.
He had eight players under his care, including Son Wan-ho, Lee Dong-keun and Jeon Hyeok-jin.
“I’m aware that Malaysia are looking for Lee Chong Wei’s replacement. He is a rare talent ... it will take years to find someone like him. I have a big responsibility here, but I take it as a challenge. I will try to raise the standard,” said Indra, who is the elder brother of Olympic doubles champion Candra Wijaya.
“We are dealing with players from a different generation now. I will meet them individually next week and have an open discussion.
“The most difficult part is to change the way they think. But once they change their mindset, it will be easier for a coach to groom them into successful players.
“Hyeok-jin is a good example. He was open to changes and we are seeing the results. He is ranked 30th in the world and able to challenge top players now. All this will take some time but, if we work together, I’m confident we will see good results.”