Hockey team not prepared enough

The article, "Leaving despite Games success" (Tuesday), inflates the success of the national men's hockey team, especially in terms of its performance during the SEA Games.

The players certainly fought with much spirit in the finals against Malaysia. However, they were not up against a powerhouse Malaysian national team, as many believe.

The Malaysian men's first team skipped the SEA Games, as it was training for the Olympics qualifiers. Instead, the country fielded a team of under-20s - young third-stringers of Malaysian hockey.

That being the case, it would have been an ideal opportunity for Singapore to clinch the gold medal. Instead, our players struggled.

It is believed that one of the reasons for national coach Solomon Casoojee's departure was his unhappiness with the attendance of players for training sessions.

This sudden unhappiness is rather surprising as numbers at training sessions were never enough before this.

In fact, in the run-up to the SEA Games, it seemed that the players never trained together, with part of the team travelling to Australia for training stints and the others remaining here.

The SEA Games is the first step on the ladder to international or Olympic hopes.

Our boys gave it their all in the final match.

If only the coach and the Singapore Hockey Federation management took more effective steps to ensure better preparation, then perhaps the team could have seized the gold medal.

M. Lukshumayeh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Hockey team not prepared enough'. Print Edition | Subscribe