YOUNGSTERS Sonia Cheah and Yang Li Lian are tipped by coach Rexy Mainaky to be the future of Malaysian badminton but they must be groomed to the next level in women’s singles if Malaysia are to do well in the 2014 Uber Cup.
Malaysia’s current Uber campaign has fizzled out due to the failures of all the singles players. However, four players in the squad are below the age of 23.
Rexy feels that Sonia and Li Lian, both 19, can become top international players if the BA of Malaysia (BAM) keeps exposing them.
He said Tee Jing Yi, Lydia Cheah and Sannatasah Saniru can still contribute as they are young but the buildup for 2014 must start now.
As Malaysia host next year’s Sudirman Cup, Rexy said the players must start preparing early for the mixed team event if they want to shine.
With women’s doubles Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui expected to retire after the London Olympics, Rexy wants to make sure he has quality pairs to replace them in the Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup.
"Sonia is unable to be here because of injury and Li Lian showed her quality when we played India. These two players are the future and we must keep pushing them to avoid failure in the 2014 Uber Cup," said Rexy.
"Sonia and Li Lian have the ability to become good international players and if there is more focus on them, they can improve fast.
"We cannot give up on other players as Jing Yi, Lydia and Sannatasah can also contribute and we must have faith.
"If Sonia and Li Lian realise their true potential, we will have a good squad for the 2014 Uber Cup and we will have the opportunity to qualify for the final rounds.
"I must also ensure the doubles players keep improving as I don’t want to be caught in the same position when Pei Tty-Eei Hui retire. There are already two pairs doing well but we need more.
"Yin Loo is the most improved player in the team and she has done well with Liu Ying. They can be a regular pair although both play in the mixed doubles.
"I also need to push the mixed doubles and have three to four strong pairs. They can be a decisive factor in helping Malaysia in the Uber Cup."
Malaysia have been struggling to produce results in the women’s singles since Wong Mew Choo and Julia Wong retired last year.