FORMER international Datuk James Selvaraj believes the 2016 project squad should be given primary focus in order to mount a strong challenge in the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The project squad should have a team of singles and doubles players who should train and compete in tournaments together while players who are not shortlisted should be attached to the senior squad.
BAM has identified Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Goh Soon Huat, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Zulfadli Zulkifli, should he decide to join the national team, while Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han and Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi have been shortlisted for the doubles.
Selvaraj, who is a member of BAM's high performance committee, said a concentrated effort should help the project squad members progress faster and also battle for places with the senior shuttlers in major events.
"The 2016 project squad is the way to look forward as BAM is now looking for strategies to identify and nurture future world beaters. The squad should comprise singles and doubles players with a chief coach and his assistants to run a comprehensive four-year programme for them," said Selvaraj.
"Hendrawan has been working with the back-up singles players and has the ability to coordinate the programme. There are also several promising doubles pairs who can become quality internationals if they are placed in the project squad.
"A team of 12 players with six singles and three doubles will be ideal but the number can be accommodated based on the players available.
"The project squad players must train and play in tournaments as a team. They should be sent for grand prix tournaments as a start and should gradually progress to play in the super series and premier super series at the later stages of the four-year programme.
"The senior squad should be managed separately by a different set of coaches and a trial can be held to select the best for the major events."
BAM has stated on several occasions on the formation of the project squad but it is not expected to be launched until after the London Olympics next month.
Hendrawan looks to be a good choice to head the project squad while Tan Kim Her, who handles most of the back-up pairs, should also be roped in as the doubles coach.
Besides the two back-up pairs, Gov V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang, who are still below 23, can also be considered for the project squad.
The rest of the senior players should continue training under Rashid Sidek and Tey Seu Bock while Pang Cheh Chang should continue coaching the doubles.
Selvaraj had also proposed to have talent scouting nationwide to beef up the national junior programme at Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) when he was appointed as high performance director in 2010 but it never took off for various reasons.
However, BAM has now realised badminton's revival must start from the grassroots and is expected to embark on a development programme at the State level soon.
This will create a quality pool at BJSS and eventually produce players who can be nurtured into the world beaters when they graduate to the national senior team.