Friday August 31, 2012
Revington plans to inculcate winning attitude among players
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Paul Revington and S. Arul Selvaraj have finally been unveiled as the chief coach and assistant coach respectively of the national hockey team after signing their contracts with the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The 39-year-old South African, who has been in Malaysia since Aug 9, said he is aware of the state of the game and is determined to put things right.
“I have signed a four-year contract, with a two-year extension,” said Revington.
“My task is to help Malaysia qualify for the 2014 World Cup (in The Hague, Holland) and the 2016 Olympics (in Rio de Janeiro). I will work with my assistant towards achieving the goals.
“Many have told me that the public perception of Malaysian hockey isn’t very good.
“We will work on changing that perception and produce the desired results. We also hope to inculcate a winning attitude among the players in the national team.”
Revington last job was coaching the Ireland team in the Olympic qualifier in Dublin.
Ireland finished runners-up and failed to qualify for the London Olympics.
Malaysia finished third in Dublin and failed to qualify for the third consecutive Olympics since Sydney in 2000.
Revington coached the South African team from 2003 to 2006 before being hired by Ireland in 2007. He quit in March.
He is the fourth foreign coach roped in to handle the national team, following in the footsteps of Australian Terry Walsh and Germans Volker Knapp and Paul Lissek.
Revington said he would use the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL), which begins tomorrow, to select between 25 and 30 players for national training.
These players will be called up for training after the MHL ends on Oct 10.
However, the players will be released to play for their respective state teams for the Razak Cup in Kuantan from Oct 14-23.
Revington said that his first assignment would be the Champions Challenge in Quilmes, Argentina, from Nov 24-Dec 2.
“I want to change the players’ mind-set. Instead of thinking we are 13th in the world, we must start to think that we can win the tournament and move into the Champions Trophy,” he said.
His most important assignment next year will be to help Malaysia win the Asia Cup in Ipoh and qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The winner of the tournament will gain automatic berth to the World Cup. Malaysia last featured in the World Cup when it was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2002.
The 38-year-old Arul, who featured for Malaysia in the 1998 World Cup in Utrecht, is happy to be back to help the national team.
“I have been the assistant coach to Revington for last seven years and I’m delighted to serve my country again,” he said.