If enthusiasm is a guide the Twenty20 Newcastle Summer Bash grand final could well be an all Maitland affair.
Maitland is fielding two teams - Flood and Magic - in the competition and respective skippers Tom Irwin and Dan Willis are thrilled with the enthusiasm among players for the competition.
Flood start their campaign next Thursday against Whips at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground from 5pm, however, their Sunday, February 2 fixture against Sea Dragons at Harker may be moved to this Tuesday at 5pm.
Magic start against Seagulls at Lynn Oval at Stockton on Wednesday at 5pm
Irwin said he hadn't received a single knock-back from players asked if they would be available for the Flood squad, which draws players from City United, Northern Suburbs, Western Suburbs and Kurri Weston.
Willis said it was the similar story at Magic whose squad will be drawn from Raymond Terrace, Port Stephens, Thornton, Tenambit-Morpeth and Easts.
"There's one or two guys who would have liked to have been part of it but have had to decline due to work, but pretty well everyone I've been in contact with is really keen which is really good news for the comp," Willis said. "There's plenty of guys in Maitland who have either played in Newcastle or considered it and it gives you a chance to pit yourself against them."
Spinning all-rounder Willis had three seasons with Cardiff before returning to his junior club Thornton.
"Quite a few guys I played with and against are still playing down there, so it will be nice to get some bragging rights over them," he said
"Our last game is actually against Cardiff so I'm really looking forward to playing that, especially as my dad is still playing lower grades there."
Irwin said the mid-week format of games starting at 5pm was a hit with players.
"It's the first time Maitland has had an opportunity to compete in the competition and the scheduling is pretty intelligent," Irwin said. "It's after work, you're not losing any time and you don't have commit for a full Sunday.
"We've got about 15 or 16 blokes in our squad and Matt Trappel and Lincoln Mills are going to have a bloody hard job on deciding who to leave out as there's plenty of quality.
"The squad includes Josh and Matt Trappel, Aaron Mahony, Lincoln Mills, Cal Gabriel and Tim Baker to name a few."
Magic's line-up includes Willis and Jamie Krake from Thornton, Josh and Jarrod Moxey from Port Stephens, Josh Hicks and Jack Bennett from Easts and Raymond Terrace players Cameron Bates, Brayden Brooks and Nick Savage.
The team will also feature marquee players Dylan Robertson, a left-arm orthodox spinner and left-handed batsman, and Ryan Fenning from the Central Coast.
Willis said the team was particularly strong in its spin-bowling options with Raymond Terrace's Brooks one of the exciting young players in the competition.
"He bowled really well against us in the Twenty20s, he has good control as a left-arm spinner," Willis said.
"Between him, myself and Dylan Robertson we've got three spinning options. Two, three, even four spinning options is pretty much standard in Twenty20 now."