IT seems like Liam Gough has been taking the new ball for Cavaliers in the Orange District Cricket Association first grade competition for eternity.
A lively left armer, Gough has also been a regular on the junior representative scene, earning Mitchell caps as well as gigs in Western Zone's Kookaburra Cup and Bradman Cup campaigns along the way.
There's been a lot of cricket in between too.
So much so, Gough's rise and rise through the cricket ranks has become somewhat of a blur.
“I'm not sure,” Gough said, having to dig deep into the memory bank to find an answer for the year he started playing top level cricket in Orange.
“I think I was 13.”
Now entering his fifth year of first grade in the ODCA, Gough is making the step up in 2012-13.
The 17-year-old earned his first Mitchell Opens First XI call up after bowling well without luck in Orange's President's Cup campaign last weekend, while hitting the winning runs in his side's two wicket win over the Blue Mountains.
Gough was a little shocked to earn a Mitchell cap.
He edged out a host of experienced rep players like Orange teammate Chris Novak with figures of 0-32 and 1-34 across two games.
But there's a conviction in Gough no doubt the Mitchell selectors would have been keen to test at the next level whether he'd taken 10 wickets at the President's Cup or none.
And Gough is ready to repay that faith.
“I'll be looking to take up my own role, be part of the team and not be the newbie,” Gough said having completed one of his goals in making the Mitchell outfit.
“I'm just going to take my opportunity.”
Gough will share the new ball responsibilities with Western Zone quick James Heath as well as Bathurst's Tim McKinnon over the two regional trial matches against Lachlan and Macquarie this weekend at Wade Park.
It's an opportunity for Gough to again press his claims for higher rep honours, with places in the Western Zone squad on the line.
But he's just focused on absorbing as much as he can from some of the best cricketers in the region and continuing an already rapid growth in cricket.
“I think I've gained a lot of experience mentally. I think I've improved in that sense,” he said.
“Being behind Richie Venner at club level and Trent [Colley] at rep has helped.
“I think my role will be to take wickets and maybe dry it up in those middle spells. I'll do what I can.
“Whatever the captain needs me to do.”
Mitchell plays Lachlan today from 10am at Wade Park backing up for the clash with Macquarie tomorrow.