PETALING JAYA: Malaysia can hire the best coaching director in the world but it will be pointless if he is not given the full power to run the show.
This is the opinion of former international Datuk James Selvaraj.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are looking for a new coaching director to revive the badminton fortune in the country after Malaysia returned home empty-handed from the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.
The 67-year-old James said the BAM must spell out clearly the role of the coaching director and give a specific guideline on what he can or cannot do.
And more importantly, James said the coaching director should have the final say on decisions made regarding training and coaching.
James served as the BAM’s high performance director for two years from 2010 but he said he was not given the full authority to execute some of his plans.
“A coaching director should only report directly to the president, or the coaching and training committee chairman, no one else,” said James.
“There should be no interferences from anyone else. The problem with the Malaysian badminton is that there are just too many meddling hands. How is the director going to perform?
James said he knows why former supremos Morten Frost of Denmark, Park Joo-bong of South Korea and Rexy Mainaky of Indonesia left the Malaysian badminton scene.
“I believe, they too, did not have full authority to perform their duties,” he said.
James said BAM should not look far for a candidate.
“It’s time for BAM to give a local the chance to head the coaching and training set-up. There are one or two who are qualified and are up for the task,” he said.
“It will cost a bomb to bring a foreign director although he may have new idea and strategy.”
“I’m still very concerned about Malaysian badminton,” said James, who has ruled himself out for a possible return, saying that he was happy with his existing role as the senior manager with Bata Malaysia.
Former World Championships silver medallist Wong Choong Hann also thinks that the national coaching set-up may not necessarily be helmed by a top gun.
“No one is born a leader. It takes time to build one’s calibre. The most important thing is the coaching director should be given a full mandate to execute his plans in technical matters,” said Choong Hann.