Kumar, Roslan out to hone coaching skills at goalie school

PETALING JAYA: Former internationals S. Kumar and Roslan Jamaluddin will use their training opportunity at the Drijver Goalie Academy in Amsterdam to further improve their skills as hockey coaches.

The duo, currently attached to the national team as goalkeeping coaches, will join the world’s famous academy from Sunday to Aug 6. They will learn from goalkeeping guru Martijn Drijver who has more than 30 years of experience as a coach.

Among the goalkeepers who have benefited from training under Drijver are India’s P.R. Sreejesh, Ireland’s David Harte (FIH 2015 and 2016 goalkeeper of the year), Britain’s Maddie Hinch and a host of Dutch goalies.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said the association were serious about producing calibre goalkeeping coaches in order to keep up Malaysia’s rich tradition in the department.

“We are not just focusing on improving the national team’s world ranking but also want to produce top class goalkeeping coaches,” said Subahan yesterday.

“I hope they can use the experience gained at the academy to guide the other coaches at the state level and part of the National Hockey Development Programme.”

Malaysian Tigers have struggled to get the quality of Roslan and Kumar among their current batch of goalkeepers.

Current team members Hafizuddin Othman and Adrian Andy Albert have been inconsistent in their performance and this may have prompted MHC to send Roslan and Kumar to Drijver’s academy. Said Kumar: “We have been utilising our playing experience to train the keepers but we need to go abroad to further improve our knowledge and coaching skills.

“Europe, especially Holland, are known for quality goalkeepers. They have produced many top keepers who have won Olympics golds and World Cup titles. It will be a good stint for us.

“It’s not just about coaching but also to draw up a programme and conduct coaching clinics.

“When we return, we should not just focus on coaching but also educate the goalkeepers. We are hoping to get all this input in Amsterdam.”

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