GRASSROOTS: Wants to produce quality players at club level
LI Mao, after travelling around the globe in a bid to produce players who can match the all-conquering China shuttlers, will take on the new challenge of producing players at club level and turn them into international shuttlers.
Li Mao, whose last involvement as a national coach was with Indonesia until the London Olympics, was also initially linked with a return to Malaysia as national singles coach for a second time but the BA of Malaysia (BAM) shelved the idea based on feedback from coaches.
He was the national singles coach and helped in Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s progress, beginning in 2005 but quit in early 2007 to join his former employers South Korea.
Li Mao joined New Vision Badminton Academy, run by former internationals Yeoh Kay Bin and K. Yogendran in late December, and the academy was relaunched as the Kawasaki Badminton Club in Kuala Lumpur recently.
For a start, Li Mao will be working with former national players such as Chan Kwong Beng, Kuan Beng Hong, Yogendran and several other youngsters.
He hopes to produce quality players from the club in two years.
“I have gained plenty of coaching experience by travelling to many countries and I want to produce quality players at Kawasaki Badminton Club by using the knowledge I have gained,” said Li Mao.
“I have a group of international players and we will be recruiting new players who have the potential to go far. I have given myself one to two years to produce good players. “I also strongly believe it is always possible to unearth another Chong Wei. But I am not thinking about that as I want to focus on my job.”
The club have received substantial sponsorship, believed to be more than RM 1million in cash and equipment, and will be having a full-time training programme for the elite as well as back-up players. They also have a grassroots programme.
Yogendran said players who are interested in joining the senior team will be invited for trials and their inclusion will be finalised by Li Mao.
“The club is open to everyone. The players will be drafted into the senior team if they impress in trials and will be coached by
Li Mao. They will also be sent
to the international tournaments,”
“Players will also be selected for the back-up squad and we also have a grassroots programme. We will also provide hostel accommodation for the ones who want to train full-time.”
The club’s training will be held at a 15-court indoor hall which is also equipped with a gymnasium in Petaling Jaya.