Coach K. Dharmaraj has cited three incidents for his decision not to re-apply for the job of handling the national women’s hockey team.
“I have decided not to re-apply for my old position simply because there’s too much friction with my employer (Malaysian Hockey Confederation). Three incidents happened recently which made me realise that even if I were re-hired, it would be difficult for me to work under such conditions,” said Dharmaraj, who was asked to vacate his coaching position in December.
To recap, the MHC did not renew all their coaches’ contracts, except that of Roelant Oltmans, in mid-December.
This drastic measure was taken after Malaysia were whipped 9-3 on aggregate by Britain in the London Olympic Qualifier.
The coaches were told to re-apply for their old positions, which was also opened to all others including overseas coaches. For the senior women’s coaching job, the closing date was midnight yesterday.
However, some coaches were re-hired by the Coaching Committee in direct negotiations because several tournaments are just around the corner.
So, what are the three incidents Dharmaraj was referring to?
“Firstly, there were allegations that I was aligned to a certain candidate during the MHC elections. I strongly deny this and challenge anyone with proof to come forward and show it to me,” Dharmaraj said at a press conference yesterday.
“I don’t know who’s behind these allegations, but they’ve caused me so much friction and discomfort with my employers.
“Secondly, when this candidate met three of our national players in Germany, I was blamed for arranging the meeting.
“I was in the bad books of my employer again. So, I wrote a lengthy letter explaining that I did not know anything about it.
“However, I did not get a reply from my employer. Instead, there was total silence.
“Finally, my ‘volcano’ erupted when a local English daily quoted me regarding my employer not renewing my contract.
“The headline was misleading and the next day I was told off by my employer although it was not my mistake.
“These three issues created unnecessary tension between me and my employer.
“So, I have to make this stand with a heavy heart because I have great belief in my players and was in the midst of turning them into a medal-winning side in Asia.”
Another incident which irked him was that nobody from the MHC contacted or congratulated him when he guided the women’s team to the indoor hockey gold at the Philippines Sea Games.
This, he said, was despite him knowing nothing about indoor hockey and being given just months to learn it himself and train his charges.
“The Malaysian women’s team have a bright future but for me, at times I feel the light is fading and it has become too tiring and challenging to continue.
“So, some rest with my family will be good. Lastly, I have never undermined any coach (or coaches) to get where I am today. I’ve worked hard for it.
“I wish MHC and the team all the best in their future adventures,” said Dharmaraj.