Right man for the role

Family reunion: (from left) Datuk Misbun Sidek, Datuk Razif Sidek, Misbun Ramdan and his wife Maisarah Jannah, Datuk Jalani Sidek, Rahman Sidek and Rashid Sidek posing for a photograph at Ramdan’s wedding ceremony.

KUALA LUMPUR: As the Badminton Association of Malaysia conducts a shake-up for the future, national singles head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek will get to do what he likes best – whip up juniors into world-beaters.

Misbun is set to assume a new role as chief coach of the national junior team as part of the massive revamp of BAM’s junior programmes in the Academy Badminton Malaysia.

Misbun is expected to start his new role next month and handle all the juniors – from the ages 12 to 19.

The former singles great is open to the new role although he knows he will lose his status as the head coach of the singles department in the national elite team.

BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria is set to make the announcement soon.

“It’s in discussion... let the BAM president make the announcement. He is my boss and I will abide by whatever decision he takes, ” said Misbun.

“I want to help Malaysian badminton in whatever way I can. My intention is still the same – I want to help. I will do what is best for the nation, ” said Misbun at the wedding of his son, former national champion Misbun Ramdan, yesterday.

Ramdan, who won the national title in 2012 but has been hindered by an Achilles tendon rupture not once but twice, tied the knot with Maisarah Jannah as many familiar faces in Malaysian badminton gathered at Dewan Tan Sri Ainuddin here.

Working with the juniors is not something new for Misbun. He has been doing so for a long time, even with his club Nusa Mahsuri before joining BAM in the early 90s.

In fact, Misbun has even worked his magic with most of the youngsters in the elite team since making his latest comeback to BAM three years ago.

Since he joined in 2017, there has been a rise in the standards of Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao, who went on to win the Asian junior title.

That is why Misbun is thrilled that Malaysia will be represented by Zii Jia, Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei and Ng Tze Yong at the Asia Team Championships in Manila, the Philippines, from Feb 11-16.

In December, he included Lim Chong King and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin for the SEA Games in the Philippines.

“These are the new and young faces of Malaysian badminton. For Jun Hao and Tze Yong, it’ll be their first team event (in Manila) while Chong King and Aidil were given a chance in the SEA Games, ” he said.

“This has to be the starting point for the young ones. We have to take the gamble and expose them in big tournaments. I hope they will continue to mature in their game.”

Meanwhile, BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh confirmed that they had offered the job of junior chief coach to Misbun but a management meeting headed by Norza in the first week of February will make a decision. We’ve spoken to Misbun. If all is finalised, he will be given the mandate to select his own team of coaches, ” said Kenny.

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