PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s former chief coach and doubles legend Razif Sidek is in a huff over the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) revamped coaching set-up.
The latest shake up on Sunday saw four out of the five departments headed by Indonesians – Hendrawan (men’s singles), Flandi Limpele (men’s doubles), Indra Wijaya (women’s singles) and Paulus Firman (mixed doubles).
The only local is newly appointed women’s doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming.
And Razif’s first retort is: “Is this an Indonesian team or what? This is unprecedented, I don’t think this has ever happened.”
“Are there really no capable local coaches around.? We are among a top badminton nation and yet we need to rely on coaches from our neighbour, ” said Razif, the national chief coach from 1994-1996.
Razif is doubtful that swapping the coaches’ role could provide positive impact.
“I don’t see this as a strong line-up. Indra, who has hardly produced any good men’s singles player being promoted as the women’s head coach? Paulus being moved to the mixed doubles? And Hendrawan, he’s been here for ages.
“There’s nothing to shout about with these latest changes. BAM are just swapping roles, probably because some of the coaches are still under contract and it looked more like a desperate move. I really wonder where’s all this is leading to. Can we count on these coaches to win us the Thomas Cup? We’ll have to wait and see.”
While Razif has given thumbs-up to the appointment of Flandi, he didn’t see Chong Ming having what it takes to coach at the elite level just yet.
“Flandi seems like a good pick given what he has done in India but hiring Chong Ming is a gamble in my opinion, ” said Razif, who guided Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock to Malaysia’s first Olympics silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“He has the experience of coaching the kids in the grassroots development under Astro’s Kem Badminton but he has not proven himself yet at elite level.
“How is he going to make a difference to the current batch of women’s doubles players?
“I hope he’s being hired with long-term goals in mind. It would take up to three years to gauge his standard.”
For the record, Flandi guided India’s men’s doubles pair Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy to make the top-10 ranking in 2019 during his two-year coaching tenure.