KUALA LUMPUR: National juniors goalkeeping coach M. Nadarajah is upset at being left out of the team for the Junior World Cup, which begins in New Delhi on Friday.
Nadarajah, who has been the juniors goalkeeping coach for the last three years, claimed that he was left out due to the National Sports Council’s (NSC) financial constraints.
And, if that is so, he wants to know why former Indian defender and penalty corner specialist Len Aiyappa, who was brought in to train the penalty corner drag flickers, was among the 12 officials who went to New Delhi.
It is learnt that Len will be in charge of the goalkeepers – Mohd Hafizuddin Othman and Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri – in New Delhi.
The 12 officials are team manager Mirnawan Nawawi, chief coach K. Dharmaraj; assistant coaches K. Gobinathan and Nor Azlan Bakar; specialist coaches Lim Chiow Chuan and Len; team doctor Dr Rozaiman Ebrahim; physiotherapist Razana Abdul Raffar; video analyst Musrizal Muzamin; sports dietitian Mohd Qusyairy Ajmain Mohd Ami; mental trainer Mohd Sallehin Abdul Jalil; and masseur Mohd Aizul.
The 43-year-old Nadarajah has certainly helped improve the goalkeepers’ standard in the national junior and senior teams.
Hafizuddin was named the best goalkeeper in the inaugural six-nation Sultan of Johor Cup in 2011, which Malaysia won.
Hazrul was voted as the best goalkeeper in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca last year, when Malaysia also emerged as champions for the first time.
Nadarajah also trains the national senior goalkeepers – S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin and Khairulnizam Ibrahim.
Nadarajah, a Tenaga Nasional employee who is seconded to the NSC as the goalkeeping coach, said that he is shocked and sad at being left out of the team.
“Team manager Mirnawan (Nawawi) told me a few days before the team left for India on Sunday that I won’t be going because the NSC have slashed the budget,” he claimed.
“He also told me that I will coach the Myanmar SEA Games goalkeepers ... but I’m not part of the SEA Games squad.
“I was never given any instructions either by the NSC or MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) to handle the SEA Games goalkeepers.
“I’m sad and annoyed as I’ve been coaching the goalkeepers for the last three years and travelled with them to overseas tours. And now my services are not required ... despite having helped to improve the standard of the junior goalkeepers.
“I deserve more respect ... this is not the way to treat a coach like me,” said Nadarajah, who featured in the 1989 Junior World Cup in Ipoh together with Mirnawan and also current national juniors coach K. Dharmaraj.
“What’s really shocking for me is that Len, who is drag flick specialist, has been given to task of helping the goalkeepers in the Junior World Cup.
“Len is a former Indian defender and has no knowledge of goalkeeping. How is he is going to help the two goalkeepers in New Delhi?
“However, I wish the national juniors all the best in the Junior World Cup and hope they will be able to finish in the top six in New Delhi.“I will continue to help the national senior and junior goalkeepers improve their game and standard.”
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