Flood captain Tom Irwin wants to put Maitland's best foot forward as Newcastle's neighbouring cricket association prepares to enter the T20 Summer Bash for the first time.
Irwin will lead one of the two area-based Maitland teams, the other called Magic, in this year's expanded tournament.
The Flood feature the likes of former Newcastle first graders Aaron Mahony (University) and the Trappel brothers, Matt and Josh (Hamilton-Wickham), as well as current Central North representatives Tim Baker and Sean Gibson.
The Flood help open the 2020 season on Tuesday, travelling to meet the Sea Dragons at University Oval before backing up against the Whips (Belmont) at No.1 Sportsground on Thursday.
Irwin hopes that Maitland's inclusion will continue beyond this summer's trial in the stand-alone competition but knows the best way to remain in contention is through performance.
"It's a chance to test ourselves and something to look forward to," Irwin said.
"It's also important to get two strong teams out there and be very competitive to make sure we can come back again.
"I think everyone is keen as mustard."
Also on Tuesday, the Lions (Merewether) welcome back Josh Geary from NSW Country duties when they host the Waratahs (Waratah-Mayfield) at Townson Oval.
The Waratahs, who 12 months ago fielded Zak Crawley before he made his Test debut for England in November, have recruited James Psarakis and Callum Hotham from Sydney club Western Suburbs.
Wednesday sees the return of Dylan Hunter to the Sabres (City) along with Randwick-Petersham teammate and Irish first-class player Stephen Doheny when at home to last year's T20 Summer Bash finalists the Pumas (Hamwicks) at Learmonth Park.
The Seagulls (Stockton), bolstered by Bush Blues opening bowler Scott Burkinshaw, meet Magic at Lynn Oval on Wednesday. The Maitland outfit have picked up Central Coast duo Ryan Fenning and Dylan Robertson, who both claimed the Newcastle two-day title with Toronto in March.
Reigning T20 Summer Bash champions the Magpies (Charlestown) are visited by the Rosellas (Wests) at Kahibah Oval on Thursday.
The Tigers and Waratahs house triple headers at Wallsend and Waratah ovals respectively on Sunday.
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