KUALA LUMPUR: South Korean Park Joo-bong may start his job as the country’s badminton supremo as early as January next year if negotiations fall into place over the next three weeks.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have identified Joo-bong as the prime candidate for project manager, who will oversee three squads – the singles, doubles and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
The objective of these three squads is to produce a group of potential world beaters to peak at three Olympics – 2016, 2020 and 2024.
Discussions have been held between BAM and Joo-bong and even the National Sports Council (NSC) are ready to make a lucrative offer to lure him to Malaysian again.
Joo-bong was Malaysia’s chief coach from 2000-2003 before he was tempted away by an irresistible offer to be Japan’s head coach.
The BAM were earlier not keen on hiring a foreign coach but Joo-bong emerged as a frontrunner after several local candidates failed to win any favours at the last BAM exco meeting headed by Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh.
Nadzmi wanted a local coach for the job but he could not find a suitable candidate.
Joo-bong said one of the exco members, David Wee, and national doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her had spoken to him during the Japan Open last week in Tokyo. David was the Malaysian team manager in Japan.
“I was briefed on the role of the project manager. I’m open to the idea and I’m considering the offer.
“The job is a big challenge and I need more details,” said Joo-bong in a telephone interview.
“More discussions are necessary. I will accompany the Japan players to Europe for the Denmark Open (Oct 16-21) and French Open (Oct 23-28) and I may meet the Malaysian officials again.
“I have a contract with the Japan BA that runs until March. I may be available in January if all works out but for now, there are a few things we have to iron out. I also need to speak with the Japan BA first.”