KUALA LUMPUR: National elite coach Jamshed Gul is ready to take up the challenge if the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) agree to accept the National Sports Council's proposal to appoint him as their chief coach.
The Pakistani coach accepts the fact that he is being under-utilised by the SRAM. He now has only four elite players under his charge – Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Azlan Iskandar, Nicol David and Sharon Wee. And when the elite players are out of the country, Jamshed guides the national back-up players on a weekly basis.
“I get to work with a small group of players for a week, then another group the following week. This way I am not able to properly train the players,” said Jamshed, who joined the SRAM five years ago.
“I need to work with a player for a few months to improve his skills. If I am not given the opportunity to be the chief coach, I will still continue to give my best.”
Jamshed has been coaching for the past 27 years. Prior to his appointment in Malaysia, he has had stints with the national teams of Kuwait (1987) and Qatar (1989).
He was the coach of the Pakistani national team between 1995 and 1997. He also coached former world champion Jansher Khan in 1994.
“The current SRAM training programme is good. But changes need to be made to meet the demands of the current levels of squash played at international level,” said the 42-year-old Jamshed.
“Unlike other squash-playing nations, Malaysia have a very small pool of players. Fortunately, players like Beng Hee and Nicol are able to stamp their marks at the international level to keep the interest in the sport alive.”
Meanwhile, Raymond Arnold said that he would go about carrying out his duties as the chief coach until a decision to replace him is made by the SRAM.
“I believe the reason the NSC want me replaced (as the chief coach) is partly due to the national men's team dismal performance in the world team championships in December last year,” he said.
The team had the target to finish among the top eight in Vienna but ended up in 14th spot.
“I think the SRAM committee will only meet early next month. Until then I will continue with my normal duties,” said Raymond.