Fancy that! Four Malaysians in charge of Asia Cup squads

Making their mark: (From left): K. Dharmaraj, A. Arulselvaraj, Lim Chiow Chuan and K. Gobinathan.

PETALING JAYA: It’s unprecedented when four out of the eight coaches at the Asia Cup in Jakarta are Malaysians.

Including national coach A. Arulselvaraj, hosts Indonesia are headed by K. Dharmaraj while Lim Chiow Chuan and K. Gobinathan are handling Oman and Bangladesh respectively.

Arulselvaraj’s Speedy Tigers played Oman in the Group B match on Monday and won handsomely 7-0 and will take on Bangladesh today while Indonesia are in Group A with India, Pakistan and Japan.

Former national coach Stephen van Huizen said it is a proud moment for Malaysian hockey.

“We should be proud that four of our coaches are in the Asia Cup. That makes 50% of the coaches in the competition and that has never happened before. I think it’s good that the hockey circle feels that our coaches are capable,” said Van Huizen.

“They may not be able to serve the national team here but other countries think they are good enough although these nations may not be in the top six in Asia.

“They were good as players and now they have become good coaches. Most nations will employ coaches from Australia and Europe, South Korea, India or Pakistan but now, Malaysian coaches are also in demand.

“The same thing has happened in badminton where Malaysians are coaching in Japan and India and several other countries. Their abilities are being recognised.”

All four coaches have played under Van Huizen while Chiow Chuan was his teammate in the 1980s.

Van Huizen, who guided Malaysia to their best ever finish in the Asia Cup when they ended as runners-up in 2017, believes more coaches should emulate the globe-trotting Malaysians and look abroad to enhance their coaching credentials.

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