Former national coach Lissek harbours no ill feelings


BY S. RAMAGURU

KUALA LUMPUR: German Paul Lissek has made it clear that he has no ill feelings over the Malaysian Hockey Federation's (MHF) decision on not retaining him as the chief coach. 

Lissek, who returned to Malaysia on Monday night after a short holiday, said that he had no qualm about handling the National Sports Council's (NSC) junior development programme. 

“There is unfinished business here for me. I will go where my employers (the NSC) tell me to go,” he said after a meeting with the NSC in Bukit Jalil here yesterday. 

“I would love to take charge of junior development but first I need to have a clear understanding of what I am required to do. 

“I'm not bitter at all with the MHF. They can change a coach anytime. 

“Let me make it clear that I still have a lot of faith in the national senior and players. I believe that given time, they can be groomed to become top-level players. 

“I am still here and if they require information from me, I am willing to help anytime.  

“The important thing is to get the team back on their feet.” 

Lissek added that he hoped that the MHF would give him official notification on an end to his tenure as national coach. 

The MHF decision on not retaining Lissek following the team's failure to qualify for the Athens Olympics in a tournament in Madrid early this month. Seven places were on offer and Malaysia finished a dismal 10th in the 12-nation tournament. 

Lissek said that the failure was a very big blow but it was not totally unexpected. 

“I have to say that the players tried very hard. I still say that this team have a good future in world hockey but they need a few years more to mature,” he said. 

“The biggest problem Malaysian hockey faces is the retirement of players at a relatively young age.  

“Each time we break in new players, the team lose out in experience.” 

The NSC are expected to ask Lissek to take over the coaching tasks at their two sports schools – Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar and also have a hand in the Tunas Cemerlang programme. 

The German, who was hired by the NSC in March 2001, will also scout for age-group talent and bring them in for special training stints. 

The senior national team are now back in training under Lissek's assistants, Yahya Atan and A. Arulselvaraj, to prepare for a Test series against the United States and two four-nation tournaments in Australia from April 14-26. 

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