Seven apply for national hockey job

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven locals have applied to the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) for the job of full-time national hockey coach – but current stand-in coach Yahya Atan and juniors coach Sarjit Singh are not among them. 

Yahya has led the senior team into the final of the ongoing Four-Nations Challenge in Sydney while Sarjit is now in Karachi where the team have qualified for the Asian Junior Cup semi-finals. 

Current joint acting coach, A. Arulselvaraj, who is assisting Yahya, has applied for the job and so has former national coach Stephen van Huizen. 

The others are former internationals Wallace Tan and Colin Sta Maria and MHF coaching committee secretary Dr Balbir Singh. Tenaga Nasional coach K. Rajan and Perak’s Zulkifli Hashim have also joined the fray. 

The coach’s job fell vacant after the recent Madrid Olympic qualifiers where Malaysia failed to make the cut to Athens. 

German Paul Lissek, who had been at helm for the last three years, was dropped and his employers, the National Sports Council (NSC), have now moved him to junior development. Lissek still has another year of his contract to run. Yahya and Sarjit are also full-time hockey coaches under the NSC. 

MHF secretary S. Satgunam confirmed yesterday that they only received seven applications when the deadline ended on April 20. 

“The next step for us is to fix the interviews. The coaching committee will decide on the dates and we will then inform the candidates. 

“We hope to get it done next month and name the coach soon after that,” he said. 

Of the seven coaches who have applied, Stephen is the most senior, having served the national team for 12 years from 1990. He started off as assistant to Australian Terry Walsh and was also the number two to Lissek at the World Cup in 2002. 

Stephen also handled the team in 2000 when they qualified for the Sydney Olympics at the Osaka qualifying tournament. He was on secondment to the NSC from his Bumiputra Commerce Bank.  

Wallace is the Maybank coach and has had short stints with the national team. 

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