BAM place faith on Indonesian coaches in revamp

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia have decided to depend more on foreign coaches rather than locals as badminton chief coaches under the latest revamped coaching structure. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have named Indonesia’s Hendrawan, Flandi Limpele, Indra Wijaya and Paulus Firman as the chiefs of the men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles and mixed doubles departments respectively.

The only other department – the women’s doubles, will be under the charge of former men’s doubles international Chan Chong Ming.

Chong Ming and Flandi are the only two new faces hired by the BAM while the others have been moved around to take new portfolios and some demoted.

National coaching director Wong Choong Hann said the coaches were selected based on merit.

“It’s not biased. We were in a position to make changes and we made professional decisions,” said Choong Hann.

“It’s not about local or foreign coaches but a lot of thought were put into choosing the best and the changes are made with only one ultimate objective – to bring the desired results.”

“With the deferment of the Olympics Games to next year, we’ve been given this opportunity to strengthen the coaching set-up by minimising the effect on the training.

“Only results will determine whether I’ve made the right decision... but I know, at least we’ve tried to strengthen the coaching side,” said the coaching director.

Choong Hann said Flandi, the 2004 Athens Olympic Games bronze medallist with Eng Hian, fit the bill to give an edge to youngsters, especially Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.

India’s men’s doubles department, under Flandi, have improved by leaps and bounds over the last two years. Their pair of Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, made it to the world’s top 10 ranking last year for the first time. Flandi also had worked as a coach with a club in Japan, which saw the standard of young doubles shuttlers soar.

“We studied all this. I believe he will be able to help expedite the progress of our players,” said Choong Hann.

“Paulus was at the height of his badminton career as a mixed doubles player, so we moved him to head the mixed doubles department.”

“Indra was assisting Hendrawan in the men’s singles before but I believe, he has the potential to perform better. We’ve moved him to take charge of the women’s singles players,” he said.

Indra, who replaced Datuk Tey Seu Bock as head coach, comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge as he had coached the Korean national team before plying his trade in Malaysia at the start of 2016.

“This changes were communicated clearly to all coaches and they were informed about it much earlier to avoid any friction. It was well received.”

Meanwhile, BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said: “We are hoping the two new head coaches (Flandi and Chong Ming) can start by June 15, but these plans are certainly subject to the government’s ruling (during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Flandi’s arrival in Malaysia will be subjected to the regulations on allowing foreigners to enter Malaysia.

“I hope that these changes will further rejuvenate the national team and motivate the players to utilise the extended time frame to prepare for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (Oct 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark) and the Tokyo Olympics next year.”

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