Two of Armidale's best up-and-coming cricketers are one step closer to competing at the national championships in their age groups.
Jackson Gwynne was named in the NSW/ACT Country male under 19 academy squad and Vanessa Simpson in the under 15 female squad when they were announced last week.
The duo will train during the winter months before the final team selections are narrowed down from the preliminary squads of 20.
Gwynne was in this position two years ago in the under 17 squad.
Back then, as a 15-year-old, Gwynne had only just made a remarkable step up to representative cricket.
In the two years since, he has gone on to star in grand final wins for Easts in the Armidale first grade competition and played NSW Country Championships in both the under-18s and opens teams.
Having been in the further honours system for more than just one season now, Gwynne said he is more sure about what to expect.
"It gives me more of an idea of where I am at and where I could go," he said.
"I am expecting it to be a fair bit better, a fair bit more developed because we were all pretty raw two years ago and we are all pretty different now."
Gwynne is one of the most dedicated cricketers coming through the Armidale ranks with hours and hours spent training.
He is hoping the hard work he has put in pays off.
"Probably just the opportunities, scouts, the eyes on you," he said.
"It is a pretty good opportunity to get noticed."
Vanessa's most recent cricket season has been full of representative honours.
She played in the Central North team who finished runners-up at the under-15 NSW Country Championships.
Vanessa's selection in the NSW/ACT Country squad came off the back an impressive showing at the under-14 state challenge where her Sixers Country team finished runners-up.
Of her selection in the wider squad, Vanessa was both excited and a little bit shocked to have her name included among some of the most talented young female cricketers in the state.
"It is a great opportunity," she said.
"I was really surprised when I got picked as there were plenty of great girls there and I didn't know what I was up against.
"I am expecting really hard competition where the girls push you to the best of your ability."
The women's game is becoming increasingly popular and more opportunities are available in the sport and playing at a higher level.
Vanessa's talents as a rising female start were recognised with cricket equipment company Tazz jumping showing their support.
"I got part of a sponsorship so it is helping me, heaps of people have been really generous about it," Vanessa said.