Six of the region's best young cricketers will be stepping up to the challenge in Dubbo next week.
Deni Baker, Tara Craig, Jess Davidson, Alyssa Ford, Claire McGuirk and Tom Holmes have been selected in the various ACT NSW Country squads to participate in the State Challenge.
The annual carnival is a stepping stone to higher representative honours and will feature the cream of the crop from the bush and the city across the under-14s, under-17s and under-19s.
Holmes will be the first of the Northern Inland contingent to take the pitch, suiting up for the Northern NSW side in the 14s tournament, which gets underway on Monday.
Baker, Craig, Davidson, Ford and McGuirk will then pad up for the ACT Country NSW Kangaroos in the 19s women's carnival starting on Tuesday.
Their selection follows a strong performance at the Country Championships earlier this month, where McGuirk was the leading runscorer for the tournament.
"I'm really looking forward to next week, it will be great to play some good cricket again," Craig said, after coming off the field for Old Boys, having just played her second game of first grade for them (she made her debut last season).
This year is the allrounder's final year of age cricket and she would love to finish off with an ACT/NSW Country cap.
The nationals are pencilled in for mid-April in Adelaide.
One of Central North's best performers, Craig was pretty happy with how she went at the country championships.
"I feel like I bowled pretty well and batted alright," she said.
Her batting is something she has been working hard on.
"I spent a lot of time in the nets with dad over winter and over the last few months just working on batting, hitting balls every day," she said.
Currently on uni holidays, she is planning to head back down to Canberra - she began a biomedical science degree last year - in the next couple of weeks.
"I'm hoping to go down there and do some training and play some women's grade down," she said.
Craig will play with Weston Creek Molonglo/Tuggeranong in what is a revamped women's competition for the 2021/22 season.
In other selection news Central North have finalised the open men's team to represent the zone at the upcoming Country Championships.
South Tamworth skipper and Central North stalwart Tom Groth will lead a side boasting a mix of returning and new faces at Tuggerah from January 28-30.
CENTRAL NORTH OPENS: Tom Groth (c),Tyler Edwards, Mitchell Fisher, Tom Fitzgerald, Todd Francis, Cal Gabriel, Callum Henry, Pat Magann, Simon Norvill, Tom O'Neill, Mick Rees, Dylan Smith, Bryan Warren. Coach - Tom O'Neill.