HAFIZ Hashim is looking forward to be reunited with his former coach, Misbun Sidek, who once made him a great badminton player.
Hafiz, who thrived under Misbun and won the All-England men’s singles title in 2003, is now a national Under-18 singles coach, together with Kwan Yoke Meng and Poh Chai Boon.
The appointment of Misbun by BAM as national junior director on Tuesday will see Hafiz working with Misbun again.
Hafiz, 37, attributed most of his career’s success to Misbun.
“I was only 17 when I first came under Misbun. He was a coach who tolerated no nonsense and was really hard on his charges,” Hafiz told Timesport yesterday.
“But did I hate him? No, he was the kind of coach every player wanted. He has a touch of gold.
“My advice to the younger players is to follow his programme closely. It will be tough at first but never give up.
“Look at me, I went on to win the All England, the Commonwealth gold and other tournaments because of Misbun, Almost my entire career was under him.
“Now, it has come full circle and he will be the national junior director, I can’t wait to work under him.”
Hafiz pointed out that times have changed and it is really up to the players to learn as much as they can from Misbun.
“Back then we barely had any distractions. Misbun guided us on court, and during our breaks we rested.
“Now, everyone is on their mobile phones and other gadgets. Misbun can be hard on the players but he cannot monitor their every move.
“If these juniors really want to be future world beaters, be disciplined and train hard. That is the only way,” Hafiz added.
He said the national junior shuttlers are lucky to benefit from the expertise of someone like Misbun, who has produced World No 1 players like Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann and Roslin Hashim.