Misbun can work his magic on juniors, says Chong Wei


NATIONAL junior players can count themselves lucky if they are placed under coach Datuk Misbun Sidek (picture; right), said badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei (left).

“Misbun is like a father to me. Regardless of where he is placed, I will always support him. He was a legendary player and is an extraordinary coach,” he said yesterday.

He said this when asked to comment on the restructuring of the national coaching set-up which reportedly might involve moving Misbun to head the junior squad as technical director.

Chong Wei said Misbun had produced many good players for the country and he is confident that he can continue his good work with the juniors.

“It is a boon to anyone to come under the tutelage of Misbun,” he told reporters after a ceremony to announce the 100Plus sponsorship for the country’s top men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia.

He said Misbun, the current chief coach of men’s senior players, would be able to adapt to his new responsibility well if given the task of coaching the juniors.

Chong Wei, who retired in June last year, also gave words of encouragement to the seven players dropped by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

“I do not wish to interfere in BAM affairs as the dropping of players is their prerogative. I can only encourage those axed to continue to work hard and not give up. They still have a chance to represent the country although they are no longer with the BAM,” he said.

The seven dropped were senior men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, men’s singles players Soong Joo Ven, Tan Jia Wei and Muhammad Ziyad Md Taha and women’s doubles pair Lim Peiy Yee-Lim Chiew Sien.

They were dropped to make way for the formation of Project 24, which was launched in September last year with the aim of taking Malaysia to the Thomas Cup final and winning the Olympics gold in 2024.