Misbun confident of producing another world-class player

Last update: 05/02/2020

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 -- National badminton legend Datuk Misbun Sidek is confident that he is able to produce another world number one player in his new role as the national junior development director. 

The former national player was responsible for producing some of the country's best players, including Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Muhammad Roslin Hashim and Misbun’s younger brother, Rashid.

After being appointed as the supremo of the country's badminton development programme, Misbun said it would not be impossible for him to realise his ambition of producing another world beater from the Malaysian Badminton Academy (ABM) over the next few years.

"I have coached three players who were ranked number one in the world, and now I am looking for the fourth. That is my dream,” he told a media conference after a meeting of the Management Committee of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) at ABM here today.

Misbun, who was previously the men's singles head coach, was given a two-year contract starting tomorrow to mentor 66 players from Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil (SSBJ) aged between 13 and 17, who were transferred to ABM in January.

In addition to focusing on the level of performance, technique and sports science, he said, aspects of discipline were also a priority as young players had previously been associated with several discipline issues.

“When I got this job offer, I have a clear direction, especially after seeing the players’ failure in 2019 starting with the World Youth Championship. So I thought that maybe it's time for me to help out with this youth programme,” he said.

“I'm definitely going to join forces with coaches for the youth team to improve the performance.  

“My focus will be on the BAM Main Performance Index, the Asian Youth Championships, the World Championship and the Under-15 competitions,” he said.

Meanwhile, BAM president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said Misbun was given the mandate to form a new structure of coaching at the youth level, and to identify loopholes in the country's badminton system as Malaysia, which had produced several world junior champions, could not repeat its achievements at the senior level.

“In the previous structure, we had delineation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, but now they are all under one roof so we will chart our own destiny. The junior players will go for more tournaments now, about 10 to 12 tournaments based on their performances.

“Whatever that is being given to seniors, like exposure, tournaments and sports science, will also be given to juniors. Previously, there was a difference in the class of treatment because the main focus was education,” he said.

Mohamad Norza said after obtaining parental consent to focus on badminton, the youth would spend 18 hours a week under the guidance of Sekolah Antarabangsa Regent.

He said the players need only study five subjects and would sit for the 'International General Certificate of Secondary Education' (IGCSE), in line with BAM's vision to produce players who are well balanced in terms of quality performance and their intellectual level to become world-class players.

Mohamad Norza also said BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann was appointed the manager of the Malaysian team to the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships in Manila, the Philippines from Feb 11-16.