KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Misbun Sidek is back in the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) fold after six years with one mission: to produce more Lee Chong Weis.
BAM president and coaching and training committee chairman Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria announced yesterday Misbun’s appointment as men’s singles head coach on a two-year contract.
He also announced the appointments of four other head coaches – Cheah Soon Kit (men’s doubles), Tey Seu Bock (women’s singles), Wong Pei Tty (women’s doubles) and Chin Eei Hui (mixed doubles).
They will all report to BAM technical director Morten Frost.
Hendrawan, Indra Wijaya and Sairul Amar Ayob will now assist Misbun.
“I met Misbun and he has agreed in principle to become head coach,” said Norza after chairing a three-hour coaching and training committee meeting at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).
“Misbun understands what is required to be a top singles player. He has played before and has the experience of bringing Chong Wei to the pinnacle of the sport,” said Norza.
“He is also a coach who has the respect of all the players, especially Chong Wei. The men’s singles are in critical stage.
“We have a legend in Chong Wei, but no replacement for him … we need more players like Chong Wei and I believe Misbun can do it.”
Misbun was BAM head coach for six years before leaving in a huff in 2011, citing unhappiness over some decisions.
Under Misbun, Chong Wei and several others – like Hafiz Hashim and Roslin Hashim – reached their peak and Chong Wei won many titles, including his first silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Norza also explained that he has promoted Soon Kit from men’s doubles back-up coach to head coach due to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games silver medallist’s “boldness in making decisions”.
“We hope Soon Kit’s coaching style will complement assistant coach Jeremy (Gan), who has done well so far to produce more than one good men’s doubles pair. We need depth in the doubles department,” said Norza, who insisted that he had faith in Morten’s 2020 blueprint for success.
Besides promising a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Frost has also set a goal of winning the 2018 Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok as one of his team’s Key Performance Index (KPI).