BUKIT KIARA: There are no passengers in Malaysia’s Thomas Cup team.
National singles coach Misbun Sidek said everyone in the Thomas Cup squad are equally important to the team’s campaign in Bangkok on May 20-27.
The former national champion was responding to a question on whether reigning Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao has an important role to play in the tournament.
The 19-year-old Jun Hao is the fourth ranked singles player in the squad after former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, Lee Zii Jia and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin.
“Every player has a role to play. We do not have passengers in the team,” said Misbun at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) on Friday.
“It is a little different for Chong Wei as he knows what is expected of him and we are confident he will deliver.
“Players like Zii Jia, Iskandar and Jun Hao need to step up.
Misbun and other coaches are now working diligently to prepare their players for the mission.
"We have everything here (ABM), so our focus is on training and strategies. The training camp is important as we can assess the players’ progress.
On whether he is concerned with the young players in his squad , Misbun said: "Not really, I have got no concerns. Like I said, the players must know what is expected of them.
"When they are on the court, my contribution is only about 10 per cent. They need to translate what they have practiced in training during matches,” he added.
Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Arif Latif, Aaron Chia, Soh Wooi Yik and Teo Ee Yi make up the Thomas Cup team.
The national squad are in Group D with defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria. The team leave for Bangkok on Thursday.