Tuesday September 4, 2012
Coaches must be allowed to work without fear or favour
In The Sport-Light
By R. MANOGARAN
COACHES and issues related to coaching have been making the headlines for various reasons in local sports.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching and training committee meeting on Saturday will discuss strategies for the future and the selection of coaches to carry out the various plans.
The ultimate target is Olympic gold – either at the 2016 Rio Olympics or in 2020.
In football, we have Terengganu coach Peter Butler hogging the limelight for coming down hard on three players for alleged wrongdoings.
Let’s look at BAM’s search for coaches first as theirs is a major undertaking which will decide the future of Malaysian badminton.
The roadmap they draw up will need the best coaches to produce the desired results. In the past, grand plans have failed in the execution because they haven’t had the right men at the helm.
So, do we go for local talent or opt for foreign expertise? Frankly, it doesn’t matter so long as they pick the right man for the job. He could be Martian for all we care. Results are all that matter, not excuses and empty promises.
The coaches BAM bring in should have the ability to adopt a scientific approach to training, have some knowledge of sports science, be a good administrator, have excellent man-management skills, a keen eye for talent, brook no nonsense when it comes to discipline, be able to push and motivate the players, be compassionate when necessary and, ultimately, be target-driven.
Above all, it must be someone who has a deep sense of responsibility and accountability. Somebody who will not put up with the usual nonsense associated with Malaysian sports associations.
Hence, the question should not be one of nationality but ability. We also need coaches brave enough to speak their minds and stand up to authoritarian sports administrators who prefer yes men they can manipulate and bully.
Butler is certainly one such outspoken coach, who has shaken up Terengganu football.
The past few days have seen him sack three players for alleged indiscipline.
Kudos to him for trying to instil a sense of professionalism in his players, something the game badly needs in this country.
Malaysian footballers are generally a spoilt lot who are a rule unto themselves. The State FAs and FAM are more likely to overlook their excesses and the game has suffered as a result.
Match-fixing remains a serious problem as is indiscipline. Put that down to weak management at all levels of the game.
Butler booted Muslim Ahmad and Ismail Faruqi out of the team for allegedly breaking curfew and bringing women to their hotel room in Alor Setar prior to a Malaysia Cup match against Kedah, which Terengganu subsequently lost 1-0.
One can understand his wrath, especially since their indiscretions occurred on the eve of an important match.
Butler was just as disgusted with the lack of effort on the part of goalkeeper Ahmad Sharbinee Allawee.
What irked Butler even more was the total lack of respect shown by Sharbinee, who exchanged words with the coach for substituting him after a howler which cost the Turtles a win against Kedah in the return leg on Saturday, which ended 1-1.
The former national goalkeeper even hurled a water bottle which nearly hit Butler.
Butler is right to axe the player and he has the support of the team management on this.
The Englishman must be applauded for making a stand against indiscipline which has become a serious problem in Malaysian football mainly due to the slackness and indifference of the officials.
More often than not, FAM adopt the “don’t want to know” stance to avoid dealing with issues much to the detriment of the game.
Butler’s tough stance has to be admired but it has, apparently, angered some of the locals and he tweeted: “Advised to stop riding my bike in Terengganu coz i am gonna get attacked.”
But he promised: “If I get brought down so be it, I’ll go down bringing the pack of cards with me.”
Being a coach is one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Coaches deserve all the support and protection they need to get the job done.
Most of all, they have to be allowed to do it without fear or favour.
R. Manogaran feels that coaches must have the freedom to speak their minds to keep sports honest.