Port Fairy quick bowler Henry Bensch has his sights set on three significant goals.
He's already achieved the first - finishing year 12. The next is to help bowl his club into the finals and end a Warrnambool and District Cricket Association premiership drought before tackling his biggest challenge of all - planning a move to England to further advance his burgeoning career.
The 18-year-old joined the Pirates ahead of the 2023-24 season after playing in back-to-back A grade flags with College Cricket Club in the Hamilton association.
Bensch enjoyed his time with College saying it "would always be home" but decided to move because of family connections - his brother-in-law Murray Staude is at the Pirates - and the chance to challenge himself at a higher standard.
His family also has a house at Port Fairy which played into his decision.
"I've loved it," Bensch told The Standard of his time at the club so far.
"It's very welcoming. (Coach) Alastair (Templeton) is really professional so he's getting the most out of all of us. They're such a good club to be around, they look after you so it's been good."
The teenager admitted it took time to "adapt and settle in" to the unfamiliar competition but was starting to find his groove.
"It's definitely a standard above Hamilton. Like depth of players and quality," he said.
An added benefit is bowling alongside experienced players like English import James Vandepeer.
"He's a very, very good player, so to learn off him and work together with our bowling partnership it's really, really good," Bensch said.
"(I've been) learning off him with many things - run ups, how to bowl in a rhythm and work to a set plan. He's just really good to learn off and be around."
The Pirates sit on top of the ladder after nine games with Bensch playing every game and taking nine wickets as an opening bowler.
Bensch is also a capable batsman, highlighted by his vital innings of 22 not out off 15 balls batting at 10 against Russells Creek on Saturday, December 2.
Alongside Staude (36 not out off 31), he ensured the Pirates chased down Creek's total of 185.
The teenager, who wants to work on a farm while in England next year, enjoyed featuring in a match-winning partnership with his brother-in-law, conceding bowling had been his main focus in recent years.
Bensch will line up against Dennington on Saturday, December 9 in division one before taking the field at Merv Hughes Oval on Sunday for Geelong's under 18 premier cricket side against Footscray.
He is also a member of the WDCA senior Country Week and Festival of Cricket squad.