New Delhi: Drafted into the Delhi Waveriders team in place of star goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi for the 2015 Hockey India League (HIL), South Africa's Erasmus Pieterse is well aware of the "pressure" and said it would be a challenge for him to fill in the German's shoes in upcoming tournament.
Pieterse will make his debut in HIL this year and is expected to take Jacobi's place in front of the Waveriders goal after the German had opted out of the tournament this year due to his prior commitments with his national hockey federation.
"This is my first year in HIL and look who I am replacing. Jacobi is one of the best goalkeepers of the world and has been a consistent performer for Delhi in the last 2 years. So definitely, there would be huge pressure on me," the South African custodian said during a promotional event of the Waveriders here today.
"It will definitely be a challenge for me to fill in his boots," Pieterse said.
The Waveriders are the defending champions and coach Cedric D'souza mince no words when he said that they will play to retain the title.
"Our vision is common to give our best. We are the holders and for us to maintain that is very important. We are working to the best of our ability to achieve our goal," the coach said.
"We have a great blend of young Indian and international players. The most important part of our team is attitude and bonding," Cedric said.
During the event, the Waveriders also welcomed four new players of the team -- New Zealand's Andrew Hayward, Pieterse and Indian duo of Diwakar Ram and Gurpreet Singh.
The Waveriders also unveiled an audio album of the team titled, 'Rok Sako Toh Rok Lo' created by local band Paddy Boyz.
The third edition of HIL starts in Bhubaneswar on Thursday with Kalinga Lancers taking on Ranchi Rhinos.
The Waveriders will play their tournament opener against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Lucknow on Friday.