The Greater Northern Raiders program is continuing to move from strength-to-strength, according to the Australian Test captain.
Tim Paine was the guest of honour at the Greater Northern Raiders annual luncheon last Friday, entertaining attendees with his career moments both old and recent.
The 36-year-old wicket-keeper admitted while the Raiders had a ways to go, the progress made since its inception had been "awesome".
"I think there's still work to be done on it but I know they're working really hard with Cricket Tasmania to make it work even better," Paine said.
"Certainly, if I was a young guy coming up and I wanted to play cricket in Tasmania, I think there's a clear pathway from your club to the Raiders to the contract list which I think is exciting.
"I think the fact a kid can grow up here and see a clear pathway to the Tigers or Hobart Hurricanes, it hasn't always been the case, you've played club cricket here then you've probably had to move down too early.
"For young guys to stay up here, finish school, and worry about cricket later is really important."
In terms of first-hand experience against the boys in orange, to say Paine's was limited would be an understatement.
The Australian captain was run-out by Raiders gloveman Sam Elliston-Buckley after three balls for just one run in November for his side University.
"I've only played that one game against the Raiders and was run-out on the third ball so I didn't see too many of them," he said.
"But I have seen the team in general over the first three years and it's certainly improved each year.
"The first year was obviously tough for them and then the second year I thought they were a pretty competitive team that was hard to beat. This year I think they've taken another step and are starting to beat some teams."
While Hobart born and raised, Paine appreciated the idea of the Greater Northern Raiders and its ability to bring back veterans from the Big Bash League and the Tigers to help build the next generation in the northern half of the state.
I've only played that one game against the Raiders and was run-out on the third ball- Tim Paine on his performance against Greater Northern
He added the inception of the program allowed for a North-South rivalry to come back to premier league cricket in Tasmania.
"For me, I still love going back and playing grade cricket for my club University because it's who I am," he said.
"For young Northern guys to play for a Northern team then test themselves against the South of the state and have that North-South rivalry I think is really important."
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