IN A boon for the fledgling Ipswich/Logan Hornets' women's program, nine players will join a field of 48 from across the state for Queensland Cricket's Rookie Challenge Series.
In its second season, the Rookie Challenge Series will run from September 18-20 with the express purpose of identifying and nurturing female cricketing talent.
The series will provide players aged 12-18 with an opportunity to showcase their talents and earn selection in Queensland Youth squads.
Lauryn Anderson, Emma Jackson, Kira Holmes, Meg Mettam, Georgia Voll, Chloe Murphy, Elle Johnston, Ruth Johnston and Imogene Fisk-Walsh make up the Hornets contingent set to take to the Western Suburbs pitch in Graceville.
All of the girls named were part of the Hornets' Josie Fields Shield-winning team from last season.
Captain Leanne Bichel believes that experience will hold them in good stead for future representative honours.
"From a club point of view it's fantastic to have that many girls going,” Bichel said.
"It's recognition of the girls' ability to mix it with the best even though they're still young.
"It's been a marvellous journey, we've only had one season playing second-grade so it's still very much onwards and upwards for these girls.
"You can't knock anything the girls have achieved so far, and getting picked for this rookie program is something they are really looking forward to.”
A number of the Hornets' young guns were part of the inaugural Rookie Challenge Series last year and Bichel expects an improved showing this time.
"I think last season when they did this program they were exposed to the level of cricket they had to play, but this time they're seasoned campaigners,” Bichel said.
"They know the selectors, they have good staff and coaches looking after them, and there's no way they can't cope with what will be thrown at them this time around.”
It will be a busy few months for seven of the nine Hornets girls, as they also represent Darling Downs at the Queensland Schoolgirls Championships in October.