BAM promise to fast-track junior shuttlers

Nice to meet you: Datin Seri Muhaini Zainal Abidin having a chat with the players and coach Datuk Misbun Sidek (left) during the visit. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have realised that relying on the usual suspects is just not good enough and they now want to fast-track the junior shuttlers.

Their president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria has promised a reshuffle from players to coaching set-up ahead of the busy calendar next year.

Besides the shuttlers’ commitment to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour, they will also be focusing on the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok (May 8-15), Vietnam SEA Games in Hanoi (May 12-23), Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (July 28-Aug 8) and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China (Sept 10-25).

“The coaching and training committee hope to finalise the restructuring by next week so the players and coaches know what they are in for next year,” said Norza.

“We hope to see an increase in singles and doubles. We will fast- track more juniors so that they can start to compete with the back-ups.

“We have given players like Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin and Ng Tze Yong the chance to compete in the second and third tier tournaments, so we will probably see them competing in higher tier events if they move up in the world ranking.

“The hope is that the juniors will see action alongside the seniors in future competitions especially as we have a very busy calendar next year,” added Norza after a visit from BAM’s new patron Datin Seri Muhaini Zainal Abidin yesterday.

Muhaini is the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Norza admitted the overall performance this year could have been better adding the need to address the shortcomings.

“We need to look at the inconsistency, physical endurance and the mental aspects.

“We’re certainly not there yet and we hope fans will be patient with the younger batch of players that we will be grooming.”

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