ONLY THE BEST: With Aik Mong tipped to be director of coaching, the duo are set to galvanise Malaysian badminton
TAN Aik Mong is almost certain of becoming the national director of coaching but there could be a move to appoint an understudy to the former Thomas Cup player.
Aik Mong, 63, has been a regular visitor to the BA of Malaysia (BAM) office at the national training centre at Juara Stadium over the past week and is also said to have been giving input to president Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff on the new programme which will be announced at the council meeting on Sept 7.
Tengku Mahaleel, who has been gathering reports on BAM's performance in recent years, is believed to be in contact with former players, coaches and a wide range of individuals involved in local badminton in the past and present to come out with a blueprint that can make Malaysia a powerhouse in the sport again.
There have been suggestions that Aik Mong should have an assistant, preferably a former international with some experience in coaching and management and doubles player Lee Wan Wah's name has popped up.
Wan Wah left the national squad at the end of 2010 but continued to play independently, partnering either Chew Choon Eng or Chan Chong Ming in tournaments.
He has also been running an academy in a joint venture with Chong Ming, Choon Eng and former singles shuttler Wong Choong Hann.
The widely travelled Wan Wah is seen as an asset for BAM.
Choong Hann could also contribute but in a different capacity. He could be roped in to train the back-up players while also picking up pointers from an experienced coach if he is given the opportunity by BAM.
Wan Wah said he would definitely consider the offer to serve the national team.
"If there is an offer from the BAM to serve in any role, I will give it consideration.
"However, the association is under a new president and we have to wait and see what his plans are. So far, there is no official offer from BAM," said Wan Wah.
Former Thomas Cup player Kwan Yoke Meng, Datuk James Selvaraj, Kol (Rtd) Wong Ah Jit and Razif Sidek were the other candidates named for the director of coaching post but Aik Mong's arrival has made him the favourite.
Aik Mong has been at pains not to make any statement on his official status but has said he was helping out by providing details as requested by Tengku Mahaleel.
"I was asked to furnish some information and details on the training programme by the president and I'm only doing that.
"I have been helping with the development programme of Kelantan BA where Tengku Mahaleel is the president and offering my feedback on the national team.
"The director of coaching is a full-time job and I can't comment on that. You have to check with the president."
Tengku Mahaleel has also been tight-lipped on the revamp that BAM is undergoing but has promised to tell it all at the council meeting.
The suggestion to appoint an assistant director of coaching may also get the nod when taking into account Aik Mong's age and this is where Wan Wah could get his big break.