TRUSTWORTHY is the word that aptly describes Park Joo-bong as this attribute had convinced the Malaysian trio of Jeremy Gan, Lee Wan Wah and Tan Kim Her to join his coaching set-up in Japan.
As head coach, Joo-bong had turned Japan into a powerhouse over the last 18 years. Under his leadership their players have won titles at every major events from the Olympics, World Championships and the Asian Games.
The likeable an effective planner also had kept a close rapport with his former charges, particularly the players he coached in Malaysia and Jeremy was the first to get an opportunity to work under the South Korean in 2017.
Under Jeremy, Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino have won a hattrick of All-England titles and also a silver medal in the 2012 World Championships in Huelva, Spain.
“Initially, I wasn’t keen as I have to move away from home but one thing that lured me was the fact that I can count on Joo-bong. He is trustworthy and assured me that I can make it good as a coach in Japan,” said Jeremy.
“They didn’t have a specific mixed doubles senior team then but with Joo-bong’s guidance, I have been handling the team for the last five years. He gives us the freedom to run our programme and also the time to achieve the targets.
“He is a person who never leaves us in a lurch. If there is a problem, he steps in to discuss an try to solve it.
“He takes responsibility of the overall performance and always motivates us.”
Kim Her was appointed as the men’s doubles coach while Wan Wah, who initially started as the junior coach was promoted last year as the national mixed doubles B team coach.
Kim Her said Joo-bong was transparent in his dealings.
“There is no politicking and everything is based on merit and it is a pleasure to be under a head coach like Park,” said Kim Her.
“Discussion is a key to an effective system in Japan and Park has made it a point to engage with us and before drawing up plans.
“He listens to our inputs and this gives us the confidence in working hand-in-hand with him.
“He does not only focuses on results but also tries to solve the problems we face.”
After two years on the job, Kim Her has repaid Joo Bong’s faith after guiding Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi to become Japan’s first ever pair to be crowned men’s doubles world champions last year.
With Joo Bong set to lead Japan until 2025, Kim Her and Jeremy have accepted new contracts which will see them serving Japan until 2024 with the Paris Olympics their main objective.
Wan Wah is also set to continue his stint.