KLANG, July 18 — Indoor hockey’s potential for growth is immense, according to former national hockey coach Paul Lissek.
He said it will be in the hands of the associations to push it to greater heights.
Hockey is offering four gold medals at the SEA Games, two in the indoor and two in the outdoor formats.
“The game has immense potential,” said Lissek.
“To get people in and educate them about the sport is the key. The task is enviable as you need to convince the masses to take up the sport,” he added.
The difference between the outdoor and indoor formats is in the indoor game, you’re not allowed to lift the ball.
It must stay on the ground at all times, but the walls surrounding the court can be used to deflect the ball, thus allowing a skilled player to use it to advantage.
The majority of the players are new to the indoor format but Malaysia did well at the Indoor Asia Cup Hockey tournament in Doha, Qatar, in April, their first competitive outing.
The men finished fifth while the girls were second. Despite that high finish, women’s K Gobinathan wants more.
“You must stay low all the time, keep your centre of gravity as close to the ground, be quick. Mastering the angles is key to victory,” explained the former international.
“The best teams in the world have so many variations on how to get the ball to the goalmouth as they’ve been playing for years.
“We have only just started but we are progressing well.
“I’ve yet to finalise the squad as the players are still getting better as the days go by.”
One thing the team are lacking in is competitive matches. Gobi hopes they can arrange a few more matches before the SEA Games.
For now they compete with the men’s army team.
Meanwhile Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Sri Subahan Kamal said there will be additions to the coaching committee within two weeks.
He added MHC will also look into other committees which are seen to be underperforming.
As for the national men’s team, their good performance in London at the World League Semifinals opened the door for Malaysia to play friendlies with world No. 4 Holland and No. 1 Argentina.
Discussions are ongoing and games could be arranged in December.