Go serve abroad, Tat Meng tells Malaysia’s under-fire coaches

Opportunites aplenty: Wong Tat Meng says Malaysian coaches are in great demand globally.

LOSING your job soon? Fret not.

Former national coach Wong Tat Meng has urged his under-fire former colleagues under the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) umbrella to consider expanding their careers abroad if they are no longer needed by the national body.

The women singles and women’s doubles coaches, including Datuk Tey Seu Bock and Rosman Razak, are treading on thin ice after their departments were deemed unsatisfactory by the BAM coaching and training and committee.

The committee, headed by BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh, are on the lookout for new coaches, but the changes are not expected take place any time soon, not at least until after the Tokyo Olympics.

Tat Meng, 52, who’s now a member of South Korea’s coaching staff, said there were plenty of opportunities elsewhere and it was up to the Malaysian coaches to grab them.

He also pointed out that Malaysian coaches were in high demand abroad with the likes of Jeremy Gan, Tan Kim Her and Lee Wan Wah giving Japan a solid coaching set-up while Choong Tan Fook has been with Hong Kong for nearly 10 years now.

“With the vast experience that our coaches have, they definitely can be successful outside Malaysia, ” said Tat Meng, who left BAM in 2016 to join Scotland BA and spent two years there.

“It’s about time for them (the coaches) to expand their horizons. It’s worth a try. If you never try, you will never know.

“Me, Jeremy, Kim Her, Wan Wah and Tan Fook all surviving, aren’t we?

“Vacancies are likely to open up after the Tokyo Olympics. They can try grabbing them then.”

Besides Scotland and South Korea, Tat Meng has also had a one-year stint in Indonesia as women’s singles coach in 2012.

Asked about the biggest challenge of working abroad, Tat Meng, who had two stints with BAM from 2003-2011 and 2013-2016, was quick to reply: “Working under immense pressure.

“As a foreign coach, you’re expected to deliver more. If you don’t perform or meet your KPI, they can ask you to leave anytime. In BAM, you have more time on your side.”

On his current role with South Korea, Tat Men said he certainly has a big task in hand.

He’s now in charge of men’s singles star Son Wan-ho, who is racing against time to qualify for the Olympics.

Wan-ho, who returned from a seven-month injury layoff in October last year, is still finding it tough to find his old form.

He failed to defend the Perodua Malaysian Masters title after going down 16-21,14-21 to Rio Olympics winner Chen Long in the first round yesterday. The 31-year-old is now ranked a lowly 54th and must break into the top 40 by April 30 to make the cut.

“It’s going to take some time for him to return to form, but he still has a good chance of qualifying for Tokyo with four months remaining, ” said Tat Meng.

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