Onus now on Paulus to pair Peng Soon with right partner

Time for a new challenge: BAM have accepted Chan Peng Soon’s request to rejoin the national stable yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: Indonesia women’s doubles Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rayahu are a perfect example where a senior-junior partnership can be turned into a deadly combination.Greysia is 34 and is 11 years older than Apriyani.

They were first paired up in 2017, and four years later they went on to become Olympic gold medallists.

Hence, can the 33-year-old Chan Peng Soon’s return to the national team produce a similar impact?

The onus is now on mixed doubles head coach Paulus Firman to work his magic to bring the best out of Peng Soon by pairing him with the right partner.

“There’s not much I can say at this juncture as the announcement has just been made,” said Paulus.

“But what I do believe is that a senior-junior combination can work quite well.

“It can be positive when you have a pair where the older leads by example and the younger player has someone to look up to.”

Yesterday, the Badminton Associa-tion of Malaysia confirmed that they have accepted Peng Soon’s request to rejoin the national stable – two years after he left with former partner Goh Liu Ying to become independent shuttlers.

Peng Soon has now parted ways with Liu Ying after 13 years which saw them win silver at the Rio Olympics as part of their career highlights.

It will be interesting to see who Peng Soon will join forces with when he reports for duty on Jan 1 as there’s currently no player in the depleted mixed doubles squad who is without a partner.

Paulus and his assistant Teo Kok Siang have only depleted pairs under his charge – Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei and Choong Hon Jian-Teo Ee Wei.

“We will need to figure out who Peng Soon can team up with.

“It’s likely we will have to request for a player from the women’s doubles squad,” said Paulus.

Pearly Tan, who has strong attacking ability, can be a good candidate if the BAM allow her to compete in two events.

The younger ones like Valeree Siow, Go Pei Kee or Low Yeen Yuan are also a possible option.

Paulus believes Peng Soon’s presence itself will have a positive vibe in his department.

Peng Soon showed previously that he could do a good job in guiding a junior teammate.

In 2017, he played for nine months with Yee See when Liu Ying took time off to recover from a surgery.

In that period, they won the Russian Open and reached three semi-finals (Korean Open, Macau Open and Vietnam Open), and were placed at a career-best No. 17 in the world.

The mixed doubles squad had been left without a senior member capable of playing a mentoring role following the departure of Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie earlier this year.

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