Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ironing out differences

CRUNCH TALKS: Revington to meet MHC president today to decide his future

PAUL Revington will meet with Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah today to decide on his coaching future with the national team.
The South African, who almost quit two weeks before the start of the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru, has been embroiled in a "multi-cornered battle" off the pitch since the Azlan Shah Cup.
Some meddling officials are said to have made his task very difficult on many matters.

Revington was expected to pack his bags and move on by this week, but according to an official, the outcome of today's meeting should be favourable.

"Initially, there were some whispers that Revington would pack his bags by this week and leave Malaysia. However, the meeting with Tengku Abdullah is expected to iron out some crucial issues that have been hampering his training and also his long-term plans for the team.

"And as of now, it looks like we will have him until his two-year contract expires," said the official who declined to be named.

Revington was hired last September after Malaysia went on a coach-hunt when the team's Olympic Qualifier campaign in Dublin, Ireland, fell flat.

But he shocked the nation by sending in a resignation letter via e-mail just days after naming the team for the World League.

Right now, Malaysia's focus is on the Asia Cup in Ipoh on Aug 24 to Sept 1, as the gold medallists will play in the World Cup on merit.

Malaysia, after finishing fifth in the World League, have been placed as third reserves for the World Cup and their fate in that path to the World Cup rests with the Continental Qualifiers.

"The coach has had some meetings with those who are keen to see him stay on and help Malaysia make an impact on the Asia Cup," the official added.

"And if all the issues can be resolved tomorrow, he will not abandon ship when the team need him most."

With five of the national players in Kazan, Russia, for the University Games, the remaining players will undergo gym training this week to boost their fitness ahead of the plan to wrest the Asia Cup gold medal from the hands of India, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan -- as none of the Asian teams have qualified on merit yet.

In the Asia Cup, Malaysia are in Group A with Taiwan, Pakistan and Japan, while Group B consists of South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Oman.

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