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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Malaysia’s Lim appointed as Sultanate of Oman hockey head coach

Muscat: Oman Hockey Association (OHA) unveiled Lim Chiow Chuan as the head coach of the Sultanate of Oman national hockey teams (Senior & Junior) at a press meet in Muscat on Sunday. The announcement was made by Marwan al Jumaa, OHA chairman, in the presence of coach Lim and other OHA officials and the attendant media.


Coach Lim, who is from Malaysia, has an impressive CV with a chequered playing and coaching pedigree.


The newly appointed coach has represented the Malaysian senior team from 1986-1996 with 178 international caps. Lim played for Malaysia at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics as well, apart from the Asian Games of 1990 and 1994. He had also made an appearance at the 1993 Champions Trophy.


Lim’s coaching experience has been vast and he has been donning the coaching role since 2006 when he started off as the assistant coach of Singapore national team and later became their head coach as well.


He has also had long coaching stints in his home country of Malaysia as well. Lim was the head coach of Malaysia’s U-16 team in 2011-12 and rose to become the head coach of their U-21 team in 2013.


In between those coaching stints, Lim was the development director of Malaysia Hockey from 2010-2015 as well. Lim was the assistant coach of the Malaysian men’s team from 2014-2017 and his latest assignment was the post of Technical Director of Indonesia Hockey from 2018 until taking up the Sultanate of Oman job.


OHA chairman optimistic


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OHA chairman Dr Marwan al Jumaa stated that coach Lim has been appointed with taking Oman hockey forward in a positive and ambitious way.


“We have very high ambitions and expectations from the hockey family. But there are some limitations, we would like to take things realistically. We have some targets. And appointment of the coach is a step in that direction. What he has done with the Indonesian team is something that he could probably replicate here with Sultanate of Oman. Also, coach Lim has a very vast experience in not just coaching but training and lecturing as well. And this is something that we will benefit from in the coming days,’’ the chairman added.


Coach Lim was looking forward to being at the helm of affairs for the Sultanate of Oman and laid out his thoughts and ideas.


“I have not met the players yet and will do soon. If you look at the calendar next year, it’s a packed schedule and the last two years have been a reset period. And if you look at the list of players selected for the national camp, there are some new names and fresh faces. So it shows there is talent and potential waiting to be tapped. We want to do well in the AHF Cup, it’s the second tier of Asian hockey and hopefully we can do a good job,’’ he added.


“I have followed Sultanate of Oman hockey for a while now and also played against them when I was coaching other teams. So, I’m aware of the potential and talent in the Sultanate of Oman ranks and I’m sure under the leadership of Dr Marwan we can only get better,’’ he added.


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Coach Lim felt that there are certain areas where Sultanate of Oman will have to work on but he explained it will be a long-term process.


“We will have to bring the players out of their comfort zones and make them stretch their limits. We cannot start expecting results overnight or in the next six months or a year for that matter. It will take time and the fans of Sultanate of Oman hockey will need to have patience,’’ the coach added. Coach Lim also felt that the Sultanate of Oman players will have to refocus on their training regimen rigorously going forward and hone their tactical skills as well. “I think for a team to be competitive on the international stage, it needs players with good tactical skills and its application in match situations.”


The Malaysian also dwelt a bit on the Sultanate of Oman’s ranking at the World and Asian level and on plans to move up the ladder.


“If you see the rankings, the Sultanate of Oman is currently 25th in the world and 7th in Asia. We are currently behind China in Asia and that is a difference about 30 points. Realistically, we are not far away from China and I feel we can chase them to get into the top six of Asian hockey when we meet them in the AHF Cup and Asian Games qualifiers,’’ he added.


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