KUALA LUMPUR: It’s the same old badminton coaches but with different roles and responsibilities.
On Thursday, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) separated their national squad into two teams and named former Olympic Games men’s doubles bronze medallist Razif Sidek and former world champion Hendrawan as the heads.
Razif is the head of Team A, which comprises the country’s top shuttlers while Hendrawan manages the back-up players under Team B.
Both Razif and Hendrawan have chosen their own coaches, including those from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
The only one missing from the coaching structure is former doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her, who will now be assisting BAM Talent Management Group director Tan Aik Mong.
Razif’s coaching team consist of his younger brother Rashid, Tey Seu Bock, Zhou Kejian (BJSS chief coach), Paulus Firman, Chang Kim Wai, Rony Agustinus, Ng Mei Fen, Wong Pei Tyy and Jeremy Gan.
It is a huge promotion for the five BJSS coaches - Kejian, Rony, Mei Fen, Pei Tty and Kim Wai.
Former singles chief coach Rashid will no longer call the shots as he will have to work with Seu Bock and Kejian to produce more singles winners. Currently, the only successful one is world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.
In the doubles, without chief coach Kim Her, doubles coaches Paulus and Kim Wai are expected to play a more prominent role and with Razif as the head, one can expect players to toe the line.
The more experienced Hendrawan will work with Wong Tat Meng, Rosman Razak, Hazwan Jamaluddin, Chin Eei Hui and Chong Kien Ling. Tat Meng and Rosman were previously heading the women’s singles and doubles elite teams.
For Eei Hui, it is a bigger responsibility to manage the back-up women’s team. Previously, she was assisting Rosman in the national team.
Aik Mong said that Razif and Hendrawan’s first big task is to conduct the ranking tournament. For a start, only 60 out of the 121 players in the set-up will be involved in a move to determine the ranking order.
The ranking tournament for the remaining 61 players - all from BJSS will be held at a later date, after Aik Mong has chosen someone to head the team.
“Currently, we have not determined which players go to Team A and Team B. The coaches will conduct the ranking tournament and based on the results, the players will be divided into the two teams,” said Aik Mong.
“Once we have established the ranking order of Teams A and B, anyone from outside can challenge them. Ideally, Team A will have to get all the titles and gold medals while Team B will have to produce champions to join the first team. Razif and Hendrawan will get their team of coaches to work towards this,” he said.
Now that he has passed on the coaching responsibilities to Razif and Hendrawan, Aik Mong will shift his focus to other matters on his agenda, including the certification of coaches, grassroots programmes, and computerising the programme.
THE NATIONAL TEAM
Head: Razif Sidek
Men’s singles: Rashid Sidek, Tey Seu Bock, Zhou Kejian
Men’s doubles: Paulus Firman, Chang Kim Wai
Women’s singles: Rony Agustinus, Ng Mei Fen
Women’s doubles: Wong Pei Tty
Mixed doubles: Jeremy Gan
Men’s singles: Wong Tat Meng
Men’s doubles: Rosman Razak
Women’s singles: Hazwan Jamaluddin
Women’s doubles: Chin Eei Hui
Mixed doubles: Chong Kien Ling