KUANTAN: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has urged the national team to return home with a medal in next month’s Incheon Asian Games.
He wants the Glasgow Commonwealth Games debacle put to rest and wants all quarters to join hands in rebuilding the national team ahead of the Asiad.
“In any game, we want to win. We do our best. However, if our players fail to live up to expectations ... the coaches are responsible, then. Our job is to get the best players available to get the job done and those who will not fail us.
“And it will all depend on the coach who will decide on who are the players to be fielded for the Asiad. We will try our level best to bring home a medal from the Asian Games,” Tengku Abdullah said after attending the wedding ceremony of the daughter of former football international Yunus Alif in Kuantan on Saturday.
Tengku Abdullah said he was upset with the current state of affairs with regards to the national team since Paul Revington left the team and was replaced by K. Dharmaraj. Project 2016 coach Arul Selvaraj has now been put in charge of the national team to Incheon.
“You can bring the world’s best coach but it makes no difference if the players show no commitment to win. “We admit our weaknesses. Now the newly appointed interim coaches have named their players and we hope they can come up with a strong game plan and will be able to show results,” he said.
Meanwhile, national forward Faizal Saari, who scored a hat-trick to help his state team Terengganu beat Police 4-1 in the 52nd Razak Cup Division Two opening match at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium on Friday is in hot soup.
The 23-year-old, who turned down the national call-up for the Asian Games training squad, will be issued a show cause letter.
“He is free to play in the tournament until he is called by MHC. Faizal will be issued a show-cause letter for not honouring the national team call-up and will wait (one week) for him to reply. The disciplinary board will decide on any further action,” he said.
On Friday, MHC slapped Faizal, who last month voiced his desire to quit the national team, with another show cause letter for his disparaging statements against the association in the media.
On the hiring of new foreign coach, Tengku Abdullah said MHC will not make any drastic move but instead screen for suitable candidates, including potential local coaches.
“We will have to consider a few options ... the priority is a coach who can bring changes and manage the team. As for now, let Arul (Selvaraj) handle the team and we will see how he performs in the Asian Games,” he said.