Hong Kong face a daunting task in their bid to relive their glory days when they kick-off their Federation Cup Asia/Oceania group one campaign in Christchurch, New Zealand on April 18-21. Spearheaded by two promising youngsters, Venise Chan Wing-yau and Zhang Ling, both 17, and veterans Polly Lam Po-kuen and Tong Ka-po, the SAR will take on six leading teams in the region for a place in the world group two play-offs in July. 'We were once in the world group for more than 10 years in a row, and of course it will be a great honour if we are able to make it again,' said Hong Kong's non-playing captain Venant Shum Yat-wai yesterday. 'But it is never going to be easy as all the six other teams are very strong and have higher rankings than us.' Hong Kong stayed in the world group from 1981 to 1991 thanks to the likes of Patricia Hy and Paulette Moreno. Hy, the former Hong Kong number one, was a girls' singles finalist and doubles champion in the junior Wimbledon championships in 1983 and achieved a career high of 28 in the WTA rankings in 1993 after she left for Canada in 1991. The coach said the seven-team draw, which will be made after their arrival in Christchurch, would be crucial in determining if Hong Kong win promotion, or instead get relegated to group two. The other teams in the Asia/Oceania group one are Taiwan, India, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Thailand and Uzbekistan. The seven teams will be divided into two groups with India and Thailand, the highest ranking teams, seeded in each group. The top team from each group will be engaged in a play-off for the promotion, while the two bottom teams in each group will play-off to see who gets relegated to Asia/Oceania group two. 'If we were drawn into the group with four teams, we have a good chance to stay up because if we can finish in second place, we can avoid the relegation play-off,' said Shum. If drawn in the three-team group the SAR team will have a lot less room to manoeuvre. Hong Kong will be banking on Chan and Zhang, ranked 589 and 623 respectively, against top players from Thailand, India and Taiwan who are all in the world's top 100, according to the coach. The two Hong Kong girls both have good records against their Asian counterparts. Chan beat Korea's top girl Lyoo Mi at the Asian Championships last year, while Zhang also overcame Chan Yung-Jan, number one of Taiwan, in the second round of the junior Australian Open early this year. Zhang, who arrived in Hong Kong from Changsha, Hunan, 21/2 years ago, is excited to be making her debut for Hong Kong. 'I had never thought of playing in the Fed Cup when I was in China,' said Zhang, who won her first professional title in Auckland last month. 'This is a good opportunity for me before I become a senior player in a couple of months.' Chan, meanwhile, was involved in the Federation Cup last year when Hong Kong won promotion to group two by defeating Singapore, Kazakhstan and Syria. Chan will leave the territory in September to take up a tennis scholarship in the United States, but will continue to represent Hong Kong while studying aboard.