Greg Rummans spent a lot of Monday with a smile on his face.
Not just because his Country Thunder South West under 13s side got on to the field on the opening day of the State Challenge after Sunday night's dust and thunderstorm.
And not just because his side started the carnival with a win.
It was mainly because the coach was getting to see the potential shown by some of the state's most exciting young talents.
South West opening bowler Declan Hurcum is one of a number of players who caught the eye on day one, the Young quick's 1/15 from eight overs one of the many strong performances in the win over Metro Sixers North East at No. 1 Oval.
"I just like seeing potential," Rummans said.
"Someone like Declan Hurcum running in the way he does and following through to the crease at the other end of the pitch when he lets go of the ball.
"It's exciting and hopefully he continues to grow and develop."
Rummans spent time playing in Sydney himself in the past while in more recent times he played club cricket for South Dubbo with Henry Railz, the all-round star who is now making a name for himself for Penrith in the NSW Premier Cricket first grade competition.
He's also the current Western Zone Academy head coach, meaning he's as well positioned as anyone to talk about talent in the junior game and what it takes to reach the top.
So when he says the future Chris Tremain or Don Nash could be running around in one of the country sides in action at Dubbo this week, it's worth taking note.
"That's why a lot of coaches do it, to find that next one who's going to go away," he said.
"If I can help steer someone and help them find their way then it's good."
Monday's result was a satisfying one for Rummans after being part of the 13s side which won just once at last season's State Challenge.
On a day where a number of matches had delayed starts due to rain-affected surfaces, Rummans bowling unit was led by Hurcum and Josh Murphy (2/23) and it restricted North East to 6/111 from their 40 overs.
The coach was feeling confident about the chase and while there was a few wobbles the hosts managed to score a three-wicket win.
Tom Blowes (29) looked promising at the top of the order before falling to make the score 3/46 before captain Harry Roscarel dug in.
"Tom was really good at the start and Harry played a smart innings," Rummans said.
Roscarel made 36 from 74 balls to guide his side towards the target and while he wasn't there at the end, Caleb Walker (14 not out) hit the side to victory with more than four overs to spare.
If I can help steer someone and help them find their way then it's good.Country Thunder South West 13s coach Greg Rummans
Joshua Malone shone in a beaten side, taking a fine 4/12 from his eight overs for North East.
Elsewhere in the under 13s on Monday, the Metro Sixers South West crushed Country Thunder South East by nine wickets, Country Sixers Greater Hunter downed Metro Thunder Outer West by 18s runs, and Metro Thunder Inner West defeated Country Sixers Northern NSW by xx.
In the under 14s, the Country Thunder South West side also scored a win.
Forty-two from 40 balls for Dubbo's Jack Fuller and Noah Harper's half century led South West to a total of 191 and that proved too much for the city juniors.
Metro Sixers North East managed 142 in reply, with Cooper Martin and Tyson Deebank taking two wickets each in the victory.
Other matches in that age group saw Metro Thunder Outer West defeat Country Sixers Greater Hunter, Country Thunder South East down Metro Sixers South East, and Country Sixers Northern NSW best Metro Thunder Inner West.
The 13s girls' State Challenge also started on Monday, with those games being played at Wellington.
Country Thunder features Western Zone products Callee Black and Maddy Spence and the former starred on day one.
Country Thunder won both games and Wellington junior Black top-scored in each victory.