KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) Talent Management Group (TMG) director Tan Aik Mong was busy as a bee on the first day of work at the national body’s office in Stadium Juara at Bukit Kiara.
The 63-year-old Aik Mong met with assistant Razif Sidek, the national players, coaches from the elite and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) programme, the experts from National Sports Institute (NSI) and his co-worker Kenny Goh for a series of meetings and discussions yesterday.
Kenny is the general manager of the Support Service Group (SSG), who is responsible for providing all the necessary support for Aik Mong to execute his plans.
After the long and tiring day, former international Aik Mong said he needed at least a week to gather more information before he can finalise some changes in the training and coaching structures.
Currently, most of the players are in the dark over their international tournaments. Only world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying’s trips to next week’s Japan Open have been approved.
There could also be some changes to the status of the coaches as Aik Mong is thinking of moving them around. He is also looking at a formula to train all the 121 players – comprising the elite, back-up and sports school – as one unit.
A national ranking tournament is in the pipeline and he is also keen to observe the junior players in action at the Maybank Malaysia International Youth Under-19 starting at Stadium Juara on Tuesday.
“There is definitely a lot of things to do and this is only the beginning,” said Aik Mong, who did look worn out due to the hectic schedule.
“Give me some time … this is only my first day at work. All the players and coaches want to know what I have in mind. I spoke to them and share my plans and ideas with them. I have received some positive feedback which I think is quite useful,” he said.
“I also had a good discussion with the NSI team. I have asked them to give me an assessment of all the players, especially on their fitness condition.”
Aik Mong added that his priority was to prepare a winning team for all the major tournaments.
“The players’ participation in the Open tournaments can wait. My main focus is the major tournaments – the Olympic Games, World Championships, Thomas Cup Finals, Commonwealth Games and SEA Games. I must get everything right,” he said.
With the way things are going, the national players’ first international tournament is set to be the Denmark Open from Oct 15-20.