COACH UPSET OVER DELAY
Team ‘forced’ to train in Klang as Sea Games venue is not ready
JUGJET SINGH jug firstname.lastname@example.org
INDOOR women’s hockey coach K. Gobinathan is peeved that the facilities for the Sea Games are yet to be completed, and his charges have to train in Klang instead.
Hockey offers four gold medals at the Sea Games, with two each in the men’s and women’s field as well as indoor which will be making its debut.
“The facilities at Segambut are yet to be completed and I was told that the courts will only be ready by the end of June or early July.
“We will not have home advantage and right now we conduct our training in Klang,” said Gobinathan.
The former international is also in the dark over the type of surface that will be used.
“I have yet to be informed on the type of surface. Will it be Parkay flooring or a futsal carpet?
“This is driving us to the edge. We need to play and train at the tournament venue to have an advantage over other teams,” said Gobinathan.
Gobinathan’s team won silver in the recent Asian Indoor tournament in Doha, where they lost 2-1 to Kazakhstan in the final.
The good news is that they beat Thailand 2-1 in the pool stages.
“We expect the challenge to come from Indonesia and Thailand who have been playing indoor hockey for many years while we have only formed a side.
“We played on futsal carpet in Doha, and right now we are training on a hard court in Klang as that is the only venue that has side boards.
“However, for the two sessions in Klang (morning and evening) we spend about five hours on the road each day travelling to and fro Bukit Jalil to Klang.
“That’s really tiring but we are game, because we want to contribute gold,” said Gobinathan.
The men’s indoor coach is Amin Rahim, a former field international, and they, too, look good for a gold.
Eleven teams are expected to play in the men’s and women’s indoor tournament.
As for the field event, the Malaysian women and men are the raging favourites for the gold medal as well.