KUALA LUMPUR: All hopes will be on the youngest Sidek brother — Rashid — to overcome the lack of quality men’s singles players in the national team.
And Rashid is determined to take up the challenge and add more depth to the squad.
His plan is to start afresh next year. He will start by giving more focus to the second echelon of national players to close the gap on the country’s top player Lee Chong Wei.
On Friday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) named Rashid and Rexy Mainaky as the head coaches of the men’s singles and doubles departments respectively.
Rashid, a bronze medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, will have a team of coaches to assist him, including elder brother Misbun, Wong Tat Meng and Teh Seu Bok.
“It is a big honour to head the singles department. But it is also a big challenge because we do not have a big pool of players as good as Chong Wei. I have a big task on my hands,” said Rashid. “I have specific plans for every player and we will start afresh next year. Now, I will spend more time reviewing their performances this year.
“Ultimately, I want to have more players as good as or better than Chong Wei within the next four years. This will go well with our aim to form a solid team towards the 2012 London Olympic Games.”
For now, Rashid does not plan to hire a foreign coach.
“We have enough local coaches. I have worked with my brother Misbun before and I look forward to greater team work. I have a lot of respect for Misbun but when it comes to work, we are professionals,” he said.
Misbun will handle the same group of elite players — Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong and Wong Mew Choo. He will also get two youngsters — Lok Chong Chieh and Chan Kwong Beng — under his care.
Rashid will continue to work with the elite back-up squad players — Tan Chun Seang, Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Liew Daren.
Prior to his new appointment, Rashid had worked with the Project 2010-12 squad.
But over the last years, none of them achieved any outstanding result.