KUCHING: Sarawak has got what it takes to be among the top bowling states in the country and should be among the top finishers in the bowling competition for Sukma XVIII this July.
Technical consultant to the state bowling programme Paul Delaney said Sarawak are still the team to beat in the coming Sukma despite having lost some senior bowlers.
They are the gold medallists at Perlis Sukma XVII, namely Jonathan Ding Sagan, Daniel Tan Yan Han and Jackelyn Ng Shuk Chuen.
“Yes, we may have lost some firepower but individually this time around, we got some real and raw talent whom we need to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenge ahead,” he said.
“You have a couple of boys in Mervin, Musayar and Zuhayr who are only 14 years old and they are fantastic to watch. And they are far in front of what Sarawak had previously with the same guys of that age.
“I have watched Mervin bowl. He is six-foot one and he uses a 16-pound ball. It is quite frightening and as a coach you sit back and you’re excited.”
However, there is a need for the young bowlers to develop both physically and mentally.
Delaney said main opposition to Sarawak will come from traditional rivals Kuala Lumpur and Selangor while other states certainly have individuals who can win singles and doubles medals and definitely are a threat too.
The Australian said as Sarawak will be hosting Sukma XVIII bowling in Kuching next year, the state bowlers are under immense pressure to perform on homeground.
“We will do that the best we can to get them ready for Sukma and with the support from Amateur (Tenpin) Bowling Association of Sarawak top management — president Sunny Si, vice president Robert Lu to the coaching team of Angelo Koay, Bong Kihow, Reginald and Jeff headed by Jackson Ting, I have lots of confidence in that,” he added.
With Sukma only six months away, the state coaching team will be working a little bit more now on the individual basis and any major physical change in the game needs to be done by end of April.
“We need to work more on teamwork, need to progress the mental playing as a team and we are focusing on the peaking programme for the bowlers.
“Our job is to make sure the younger bowlers peak at the right time and win medals for us in Sukma XVIII.”
Delaney will be taking video analysis of each of kegler, study that, make his recommendations and talk with the coaches about it, ensure that all agree on the same plan and incorporate it in the bowlers’ game.
He will be doing the same job that he had done for Sarawak in Sukma XVII in Perlis two years ago, helping the state team to win the overall championship title with six gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
“I personally believe that my input in the success in Perlis was a small percentage but at top level sports, the small percentages can make big differences,” he said.