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Fiji Time: 4:21 PM on Saturday 19 April

/ Front page / Sport

Stick shift

Rashneel Kumar
Sunday, December 22, 2013

THE introduction of the latest technology has brought amazing results for Fiji Hockey and the federation is ready to embrace the change for a brighter future.

The "line breaker" technology which the national side used in the series of matches against the Australian Country side gives analysis on players' performance and allows coaches to gauge their opposition.

This technology was brought in by International Master coach Doctor Burt Bunnik who has been assisting the Fiji Hockey Federation as its High Performance Unit technical advisor.

With the help of this computer aided technology, the Fiji HPU men's team defeated the visiting Australian Country side in the three-match series which finished yesterday.

The Hector Smith Sr-coached side won the first match 2-1 while the second match was abandoned because of heavy rain and lightning on Thursday.

In the final match, the national side hammered the Australian Country 3-0 at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala.

Fiji's goals were scored by skipper Hector Smith Jr, Leevan Dutta and Tevita King.

The Fiji HPU women's side lost all its three matches 0-1.

Smith Sr said the technology helped the team to minimise its mistakes while defending and helped co-ordinate its attack.

"It sort of plays it out to the players during our team talk prior to the game so we tidy up on those aspect of it to see where we were exposed badly in our first game then see how we can minimise the opportunities given to them," he said.

"Technology is a huge part (in sports) now.

"We don't have that luxury and we can't go to the change room at half time and bring it up to the board and say 'look at this, this is where they are coming from'."

Smith Sr said they have to continue performing well in order to attract sponsors and get modern technology to assist them with their preparation.

He said they have set a benchmark for the players who wanted to make the national team in the upcoming season.

Smith Sr added they needed to change a few things in order to ensure consistency in their performance.

"We are all trying to make our country proud and it's hard especially when the major sports seem to get the biggest cut of the pie.

"We want to improve our rankings. We have moved up from 72 to 53 and we want to go even further right up the ladder.

"In the Dutch team if you don't reach 14 in the beep test, the coach doesn't look at you, as for us, we are lucky if we get one or two in the 14 zone.

"That's the same for most sports here if I'm not mistaken, so now we are trying to set out a benchmark as the minimum on 12 to go into the national team.

"The responsibility is now on the individuals to get to 12 and claim their place in the team."