DEFENDING champions Labasa soccer side has been drawn in a relatively easy pool for the 75th Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) in Ba's Govind Park next month.
The Babasiga Lions were drawn alongside Navua, Tavua, Nadroga and Lautoka in Pool One yesterday.
Ba is the top seed in Pool Two and will face a mighty challenge from Nadi, Suva, Rewa and minnows Savusavu.
Despite their superiority on paper, Labasa Football Association secretary Nilesh Lal said no teams could be underestimated.
He said the underdogs had proven their worth in the past tournaments, beating and putting the top favourites out of the tournaments.
"History has proven weaker teams can hold the supposedly stronger ones and especially in IDC, which is the biggest tournament, all teams will come prepared," Lal said.
Labasa, which appointed former national rep Ivor Evans to coach the side following the dismissal of Epeli Levaci because of poor performance, won the IDC title last year.
The northern giants ended the 17-year-drought, beating Ba 1-0 at the National Stadium in Suva.
Lal said with the inclusion of Papua New Guinea-based Kema Jack and Wira Wama, the side was looking forward to emulate the historic feat of last year.
"Most of the talented players in Fiji are with the team but talent alone cannot win the title. A lot of hard work is needed."
Suva, which started their season with a major tournament victory at the Fiji FACT after a lapse of 17 years, is ready for the challenge.
Coach Gurjit Singh said the 'tough pool' would motivate them to train harder and prepare well for the IDC.
"We have got some tough games remaining in the National Football League and we will be using those games to prepare the side," he said.
With the tournament to be played under the 60-minute system, Singh said they had an advantage.
"If you look at our performance in the 60 minutes game, it's not bad. We have been doing well in the league games and it's only in the last five to ten minutes where we conceded goals," he added. The tournament will be held from October 10 to 14.