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Fiji Time: 4:53 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Hosts wary of unknown Fijians hockey talent

Mereseini Marau In New Delhi
Sunday, February 17, 2013

India hockey captain Sardar Singh says they are not underestimating the Fiji team when they meet in their first match of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi tomorrow

In an interview with Singh after a press conference in New Delhi, he said they would play their normal game.

"This is the first time we are going to play against them, we will not take them lightly," he said.

Singh said his team was looking forward to the challenge and the boys were eager to represent their country again.

"This is a very important tournament; we are in a same situation that we were ahead of the London Olympics. It is a qualifying tournament for the World Cup and we cannot take any team lightly."

The hosts will also take on China, Ireland, Bangladesh and Oman in the tournament.

Singh said the team would face a stiff challenge from China and Ireland.

Fiji men's national coach Hector Smith Sr said his team would do the best they possibly could.

"We really appreciate his level of respect," he said.

"We will play with one thing in mind."

Hector Sr said he watched the Indian players in their training yesterday.

"This is the second time I've watched them, the first one was during their wild card entry in Australia," he said.

"I know they did a few changes after the Olympics, but India always proves to be a power house in hockey."

He said his side, made of relatively young boys most of whom are still at school were wary of the challenge ahead of them.

"We will play our very best," he said. The women's team will take on Japan in the first match of the tournament at 5pm (Fiji time) tomorrow while the men's will play against India at 3am (Fiji time) on Wednesday morning.

The two teams were welcomed by the Fiji's High Commissioner to India Yogesh Karan, who challenged them to go out and do their best.


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