KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s singles head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek (pic) has welcomed Wong Choong Hann as the coaching director but hoped the former world No. 1 can bring technical input to the squad.
Misbun says besides having good management skills, a coaching director needs to be an expert on the technical aspects of the game too.
He says Japan’s head coach Park Joo-bong has strength in both.
Misbun believes Choong Hann has the management abilities but hopes the former national No. 1, prior to the rise of Lee Chong Wei, will bring along with him invaluable technical ideas to guide the coaches and improve the standard of the current generation of players.
“I take it positively and openly (of the appointment of Choong Hann), as he comes with the support of Datuk Seri Norza (Zakaria, the Badminton Association of Malaysia president) and the council members,” said Misbun.
“There must be a reason for them to choose him and I believe he can improve badminton in the country.
“I’ve not met him yet as he will only start later but I’m not sure what his functions will be. I want to be sincere in the expectations I have on a coaching director.
“I’m not too sure what he can bring to the team as I’ve only seen him on the televised badminton camp programmes. I haven’t seen him much on the international scene.
“So technical wise, I’m not too sure of his capabilities as he needs to collaborate with all the coaches. In management, I’m sure he can do it well,” added Misbun.
Misbun hopes Choong Hann can assess every department and develop training modules that can beat the systems in China, Denmark and India.
“How is it that their modules are so good? Denmark have few players in the national team but how is it that they are able to achieve such a high-level performance in badminton?
“As a coach, I’ve challenges too. I need to prepare my players to face top players like Chou Tien-chen (Taiwan), Kento Momota and Kenta Nishimoto (Japan), Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen (Denmark) – all play with different styles.
“So how do I ensure the strength of my players are balanced and are able to defeat all these top players? This requires a lot of technical abilities and can’t be done in one way.”
Norza announced Choong Hann as coaching director two weeks ago – replacing the vacant spot left by former technical director Morten Frost of Denmark last year.
He said the 41-year-old’s task was to assess the structure of the national squad and improvise on the training and coaching approaches towards the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Norza added that besides Misbun, Choong Hann would also be in charge of all the other four heads – Datuk Tey Seu Bock (women’s singles), Paulus Firman (men’s doubles), Rosman Razak (women’s doubles) and Pang Cheh Chang (mixed doubles).
The one-time World Championships silver medallist in 2003 will officially start his new job with a two-year contract beginning Jan 1 next year but is expected to meet all the coaches in the next few weeks.