Badminton Life

Rashid Wants More Overseas Chances for Youngsters

Rashid Sidek, the man likely to take Malaysian badminton into the future, has a solution to the perceived lack of quality players coming through the ranks - give the current batch more international exposure.

Sidek, who is favourite to replace Yap Kim Hock as overall head coach at the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), said players like veteran Wong Choong Hann have the right idea.

Wong is expected to be playing club badminton in Europe later this year. Though Wong is unlikely to be part of Malaysia's future plans, Rashid believes players should be given more overseas opportunities.

"We understand that there is budget constraint but we cannot neglect the back-up players. Giving them only limited opportunities will not work," Rashid was quoted as saying in the local media.

"We have been giving the senior shuttlers continuous support for years but only Lee Chong Wei has capitalised on this."

Rashid currently heads the 2010-2012 project squad, a programmed designed to groom the next generation of senior players and targeting the London Olympics in 2012.

Lee, ranked number one in the world, has been Malaysia's best player by far over the past two years.

He has had plenty of opportunities to play abroad and Rashid believes the BAM must do more to ensure that players from outside the senior squad are also given the same chances.

"We will definitely see results if the younger players get their deserved breaks," said Rashid.

"W should at least give a player one year to prove himself and if he fails, we can focus on junior players with better prospects. The players will not progress if they continue training without seeing action at international tournaments. They will lose confidence in themselves.

"I have made my recommendations and will be looking forward seeing the younger players playing regularly on the international scene."

With Wong going to Europe and Yeoh Kay Bin likely to quit the national team, more chances will be opened up for youngsters.

Among them are Tan Chun Seang, Chong Wei Feng and Arif Latif, who will train under Rashid's brother, Misbun, once they are promoted.

The BAM's coaching and training committee will meet soon to draw up a road map for the future of Malaysian badminton.

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