The Maitland Flood and Magic are full of confidence heading into their opening matches of the Newcastle T20 Summer Bash series on Sunday.
Flood, made up of players from City United, Kurri Weston and Northern and Western Suburbs, face Tigers (noon) and Sabres (3pm) in a triple header at Learmonth Park.
Magic, comprising Thornton, Eastern Suburbs, Raymond Terrace and Tenambit Morpeth, players takes on Waratahs (noon) and Kookaburras (3pm) at J R Ron Hill Oval.
Maitland Flood are part of Pool B along with Sabres, Tigers, Seagulls and Whips, while Magic are in Pool C with Kookaburras, Waratahs, Rosellas and Lions.
Kurri Weston and Tenambit Morpeth players were not available for selection this weekend as they meet in the grand final of the Hunter Valley Cup T20 Tournament at Lorn Park on Sunday.
Flood skipper Josh Trappel said the squad, which includes marquee player Harry Dalton from Mosman Cricket Club in the Sydney competition, was looking very promising.
The squad for the opening two games also includes Wests players Shannon Threlfo, Mitchell Fisher and Harry King, City's Matt Trappel, Anru Kriel, Nic Bower and Tim Burton and Norths trio Cal Gabriel, Sean Gibson and Logan Smith.
"We have some very strong players from the Maitland competition coming together and are ready for the challenge," Trappel said.
"The step up isn't that much, but this is only our second year at playing at that level of cricket in the Twenty 20 format.
"Newcastle have been playing it for seven or eight seasons now, so well trained for and experienced in this type of cricket.
"The challenge for us is to remember to just play cricket. Not to let the pressures of it get to us.
"If we turn up to play we will challenge all the Newcastle sides."
Magic, captained by Dan Willis, will start the competition without a marquee player but after a strong finish to last season's competition are confident of going well this year.
The team includes a strong contingent from Thornton including Willis, Jono and Matt Gabriel, Jamie Krake, Chris Archer and Brent Dawes. They will be joined by Easts trio Jack Bennett, Lachlan Wishart and Nick Rinkin as well as talented Raymond Terrace teenagers Lachlan Page and Brayden Brooks.
"The core of the team, about six players, are back from last year and I think we all learned a lot from that experience," Willis said.
"We started off disappointingly but learned a lot. We put that into practice in the second game and went close and then won our third game which gives us confidence going into this year."
Willis said a number of the team had played in the Newcastle competition and were looking forward to the challenge again in the Twenty20 format.
He said it was a great opportunity for the younger players to find out how they measure up.
"I have no doubt they will more than meet the challenge. The difference between the competitions isn't huge, I think it's more that the consistency of pressure is maintained for longer across all the teams."
Warriors and Bulls play off for Hunter Valley Cup
The Tenambit Morpeth Bulls will be playing for their first silverware after their return to Maitland first grade cricket in Sunday's Hunter Valley Cup final
The young Bulls take on 2017 champions Kurri Weston in Sunday's final at Lorn Park.
The Bulls qualified with comprehensive wins against City United and Western Suburbs in the qualifying rounds, while the Warriors defeated Thornton and Northern Suburbs in close-fought matches.
Sunday's final starts at 10am.