Team bonding continues without No. 1 Zii Jia but Fred gives thumbs up


Go for it, boys: Frederick Tan (left) laughing at the players going through an activity.

PETALING JAYA: The absence of Lee Zii Jia stood like a sore thumb but psychologist Frederick Tan continues to keep the teams bound for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Chengdu from April 27-May 5 in high spirits.

Frederick has been arranging team bonding activities for the players during a centralised training camp at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara in an effort to increase the team’s unity ahead of the prestigious meet.

“I’m trying to help the players come together as one team, one family with one goal for the Thomas an Uber Cup,” said Frederick.

“I started the activities here on Wednesday and everything has been running smoothly so far. I’m very happy. The players have never been through my programme before and they are doing very well.

“I can see that the team spirit has been excellent.”

The Thomas Cup team though are without independent singles player Lee Zii Jia who has opted to undergo a separate training programme under his coach Wong Tat Meng.

On whether Zii Jia’s absence will affect his plans for the team, Frederick said: “Let’s worry about the players here first.

“We can only do the best that we can. It’s better than nothing.”

The other singles players in the team are Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei and Justin Hoh while the doubles pairs selected are Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Mohd Haikal Nazri-Choong Hon Jian.

The Uber Cup team consist of Goh Jin Wei, K. Letshanaa, Wong Ling Ching, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, Siti Zulaikha Azmi (singles), Teoh Mei Xing, Go Pei Kee, Tan Zhing Yi, Ho Lee Ee and Chan Wen Tse (doubles).

Frederick, who was appointed at the end of February to work with the players ahead of the Paris Olympics in July, will follow the teams to Chengdu.

“There will be more activities in Chengdu for the team,” said Frederick.

“I’m working hard with the coaches to fine-tune the players’ mental strength and then the rest is up to them. On court, it’s beyond my control.

“After the players return, my focus will shift towards preparing them for the Olympics.

“We know that as we get nearer to the Olympics, it will get more stressful. My job is to help the players relax. Let’s pray that everything goes well.”

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