Exclusive: Datuk Yoges frustrated with MHC’s Beng Hai snub

Malaysian Hockey legend Datuk R. Yogeswaran isn’t too happy with MHC’s recent decisions, particularly the appointment of Neil Hawgood as he believes that Beng Hai should have been given the liberty to manage the team after their recent success in Singapore.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation recently announced that Tai Beng Hai would be occupying an assistant coach position, with Neil being given the head coach role. This will not be the first time that Beng Hai has shifted roles within the national set-up, considering that he previously managed the team in 2009 and 2011.

While Beng Hai was always deemed to be a ‘temporary’ head coach, he recently guided Malaysia to an impressive triumph at the World Hockey League, where they netted a total of 47 goals in six games, en route to victory. And as far as Datuk Yogeswaran is concerned, he thinks its unfair given that Beng Hai isn’t being given the credit he deserves.

“They shouldn’t keep pushing him around; he is not a toy,” Datuk Yogeswaran told

“It will just ruin his confidence and morale as a coach. He has produced results for the national team as well. He seems to be working well with Stephen Van Huizen as well.

“What is the criteria for being a head coach? Why are they not giving him the credit that he deserves? Beng Hai has emotions as well and this would ruin his pride and confidence in leading the players.”

Moreover, Datuk Yoges believes that while MHC may have their reasons, he is unable to understand MHC’s decision to appoint Neil, claiming that he hasn’t exactly been tested at the international level. His only major experience was with India’s Women’s team; something that Datuk Yoges doesn’t think is enough to guide the national team past crucial barriers.

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“If he has been tested at a bigger level, I can understand. But it is pretty clear that Beng Hai has the better track record and potential to lead the team. What more does Beng Hai have to do? He has everything.”

Meanwhile, another hockey legend in the form of Datuk Poon Fook Loke, also questioned the appointment, and expressed his disappointment at MHC’s decision to demote Beng Hai despite showing enough mettle to be able to take charge of the team.

“If he is really that good, why isn’t Australia hiring him as their coach? Give me one good reason?”

“In Malaysia, Beng Hai is a certified International Hockey Federation (FIH) coach and he is more than qualified. I truly am disappointed.”

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