KUALA LUMPUR: National women's singles head coach, Tey Seu Bock, wants his charges to prove that age is just a number, when they take to court to represent the country at the Uber Cup in Bangkok, Thailand next week.
National No 1 Soniia Cheah, who is also the team's first singles player, is the oldest at 24, followed by Lee Ying Ying (20), S.Kisona (19) and former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei who is just 17.
"Soniia is the oldest player in the squad, while the rest are all aged 20 and below. However, that should not stop them from scaling new heights all the way to the top. I want my players to use this opportunity to shine and prove their worth, and not wait for another two editions to do so," said Sue Bock when met at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) today (Tuesday), following the last day of centralised training.
"If they don't make the best of the opportunity that’s right in front of them now, then they will not be able to do it at the Uber Cup.
"Why wait for another two to three years? Some players have this mentality, that they are still young, and there is still time for them to peak in terms of performance. The answer is no, time waits for no one. You work hard for it now and show what you’re capable of."
As an experienced coach who has guided the likes of former world No 1 Lee Chong Wei, Seu Bock explained that he had no doubts about naming the squad, despite the age factor.
Seu Bock also pointed out that the selection was done after studying the strengths and weaknesses of the players from other countries in Group D – namely China, Indonesia and France.
"It is all up to the players now. We will let them test out the courts first when we get there, before I finalise the lineup for each tie," added Seu Bock.
Apart from the four singles players, the other players in the squad are team captain Vivian Hoo, Chow Mei Kuan, Lee Meng Yean, Soong Fie Cho, Tee Jing Yi and Goh Yea Ching.