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Former BAM general manager Kenny Goh believes clubs play an important role in unearthing new talents, but they must come up with a strategic plan that focuses on short and long term goals. (NSTP/OSMAN ADNAN)

KUALA LUMPUR: A solid working relationship must be established between the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and professional clubs in order to expand the country's talent pool.

Former BAM general manager Kenny Goh believes clubs play an important role in unearthing new talents, but they must come up with a strategic plan that focuses on short and long term goals.

"The talent pool in this country can grow if clubs play their role well. They need a proper plan and must work hand in hand with the national body.

"If you look at countries like Indonesia and Japan, they have a holistic system where clubs play an important role in feeding players to the national team.

"In Malaysia, it's the opposite. Clubs are still dependent on national players to represent them in the Purple League," said Kenny on Thursday.

Kenny was commenting after former national singles coach, Rashid Sidek, who now head the Sports Affairs Badminton Academy, voiced his opinion on finding a win-win situation between all parties, namely the Sports Ministry, National Sports Council (NSC), BAM and corporate sponsors.

This comes after BAM offered Sports Affairs' shuttler, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, a place in their setup.

While admitting the move would push Aidil to greater heights, Rashid stressed the club are on the receiving end having invested in the player all these years.

According to Kenny, who is currently Badminton Asia's chief operations officer, clubs must strengthen their structure to attract more sponsors.

"Not denying that money is important. If clubs can plan better, I'm sure sponsors would come knocking on their doors," said Kenny.

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