JUNIOR Country Weeks are in the rear vision mirror and the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's best players will be returning to club fixtures.
But which up-and-coming junior players can lay claim to being the best of the best?
The Standard has pulled together an 11 of 18 and under prospects to watch in coming years.
MATTHEW GOME (Brierly-Christ Church)
Verdict: Gome is one of the competition's brightest young wicketkeeper-batsmen, as evidenced through his 296-run Horsham Country Week return. He returned to immediately feature in the Bulls' Twenty20 semi-final win over Port Fairy on Saturday.
Gome has proven he can score runs in division two and could snatch more division one game time as Brierly-Christ Church bloods its best youth.
Bulls coach Lachi Rooke said Gome had an aura of confidence without arrogance.
"He's doing a lot of extra sessions. He's a kid who just loves playing cricket and training. He'll train with the 17s boys, the 15s boys and after that he'll come and have an extra hit with us," he said.
"He'll take the gloves or be around the group. You can tell he's put the work in and for a kid that's only 15 or so, he's showed he belongs at division one level.
"He's got a really solid technique. We've just got to back him in. He's full of confidence, but it's not arrogance, it's just self-assurance. He knows he can back himself in."
FLYNN WILKINSON (Merrivale)
Verdict: Needs no introduction and has established himself as one of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's best young players in the past couple of seasons.
Has taken on more responsibility with the bat this season, holding down an opening position for the Tigers, and is dominating the under 17 grade.
FLETCHER COZENS (West Warrnambool)
Verdict: Super-talented and is one likely to comfortably take the next step up as a Victorian Premier Cricket prospect in coming seasons.
NOAH GREENE (Allansford-Panmure)
Verdict: Greene is coming into his own and is starting to look comfortable at division one level. Averaging 28.8 with the bat and looks at home at number four for the Gators.
Will benefit as he builds strength and can free his arm to score more freely. Seriously talented.
"He's only 15 and he's a real talent," Gators skipper Chris Bant said in November.
"As you get a bit older as a batsman you understand your game a bit more and playing to your strengths and that comes with experience.
"Noah has gotten stronger and he'll be able to use that a bit more."
JOE NYIKOS (West Warrnambool)
Verdict: A rusted-on division one player now who has developed into a strong batsman at West. Nyikos is capable of making big runs and is a player who will suit spending more time at the crease as the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association moves back to two-day cricket in 2022-23.
Noah (Greene) has gotten stronger and he'll be able to use that a bit more.- Chris Bant
HAMISH ALEXANDER (Dennington)
Verdict: Has been rock-solid for the Dogs across both junior and senior cricket. Alexander's best knock of the season came as a true middle-order batsman at number five. Looks to be one of the key cogs as the Dogs rebuild.
WILL COLLA (Brierly-Christ Church)
Verdict: Colla has experienced division one cricket this season and has also featured in the Western Waves alongside clubmate Matt Gome.
Colla is expected to become a genuine all-rounder and will only benefit from more exposure to senior cricket.
HAYDEN MCGOVERN (West Warrnambool)
Verdict: Super economical for a leg-spinner and a player who is already comfortable playing in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's top grade. Think Adam Zampa. Helps West Warrnambool tie down opponents. In his past two games - Twenty20 fixtures against Koroit and Northern Raiders - he bowled a combined six overs for just 14 runs and five wickets.
ETHAN BOYD (Allansford-Panmure)
Verdict: There's so much to like about Boyd. The aspiring quick has shouldered a large portion of the Gators bowling load at either opening or first change in 2021-22.
His three wickets for just 14 runs from four overs against North Warrnambool Eels on Saturday demonstrated the economical side to his bowling.
One who has proven he belongs in division one.
HUGH FLEMING (Merrivale)
Verdict: Mr Economical. Fleming has been a revelation for Merrivale this season and boasts an economy rate of 1.8. That's right - 1.8. He's bowled 26 overs from three games in division one and is also averaging 5.8 with the ball.
PATRICK HEWSON (Allansford-Panmure)
Verdict: One of the most improved players in the WDCA and just relishing opportunities in division one. A classy spinner with a big future in the game. Showed his class in Saturday's Twenty20 semi-final with a solid four-over stint which included two wickets and leaked just six runs.
NOAH DAWSON (West Warrnambool)
Verdict: Up-and-coming quick who is a consistent division two prospect. Will be playing division one comfortably in years to come.
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