The North's top women cricketers are primed for an assault on the Hobart-based Cricket Tasmania Premier League.
Coached by Darren Simmonds and Robert Stewart, the Greater Northern Raiders will make their debut against Lindisfarne at the NTCA No.2 on Sunday morning.
The inaugural team will be captained by former Launceston and Riverside cricketer Sam Cotton and features a who's who of Cricket North's six-year-old women's competition.
Former Blues skipper Sophie Parkin has returned from a one-season stint with CTPL outfit University to lead the Raiders' bowling ranks while vice-captain Caitlyn Webster heads a group of five South Launceston premiership players.
Parkin said she was excited to see what her side could do during the season.
"I know the level it is and it is a big step up, but I think it'll be exciting for the girls to have their first hit-out and keep improving through the season," the 18-year-old St Patrick's College student said.
"I'm really excited to see what they can do and show the South a bit of the North's talent. I think the talent we've got up here in the North is really strong, and to give the girls the opportunity to not have to travel down to Hobart but to [play] from home is really good for them."
The Raiders will play predominantly on Sunday throughout the season to allow players to represent their regional clubs on Saturday evenings.
Among the many young talents to be doubling up at weekends will be South all-rounder and state under-18 representative Amy Duggan.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
The Scotch Oakburn student said while her schedule would be challenging at times, both she and her teammates were already reaping the rewards of extra time in the nets.
"Definitely we've noticed improvement across the girls having those extra few trainings and getting more knowledge off Darren," the 17-year-old said.
"I think there'll be a lot of games both together put with Raiders and club so it'll be tiring but we'll get through and just perform at our best.
"It'll be a big step up for all of us girls but it'll be a good comp to play in."
While Duggan finished top-10 in Cricket North's bowling and batting averages last season, Parkin was one of the CTPL's most consistent bowlers with 13 wickets from 11 games.
The medium pace bowler was rewarded with selection as Hobart Hurricanes' Northern rookie over the summer and plans to take her game to the next level this season.
"I just hope to perform at my best each week, to remain consistent with my bowling and score some runs as well," Parkin said.
"I think just stepping up to that extra level and getting to the level that the Hurricanes girls are at so I can give myself a chance to be successful.
"And just to enjoy it as a team as well - it's our first year of being in the comp so it'd be nice just to enjoy it with the girls, improve and have fun."
Sunday's game begins at 11am and will see the Raiders line up against a Lindisfarne side which finished just outside the top four last season.
The Raiders will play another home game at Youngtown Oval the following weekend against ex-Riverside keeper Emma Manix-Geeves' New Town.
- Sam Cotton (c), Caitlyn Webster (vc), Montana Bradley, Rhianne Hack, Sophie Parkin, Meg Radford, Madeline Clarke, Amy Duggan, Dana Lester, Ellie Mathews, Lisa Battle, Alice McLauchlan (12th)