At just 16 years of age, Nathan Parkes is already an example to follow for any young cricketer looking to go far in the sport.
The Kamo High School student is coming to the end of his first full season with the Kamo premier men's team, which featured his debut for Northland's senior men's team last year.
His debut was nothing short of extraordinary, taking a wicket with his first ball against Auckland A.
"It was a pretty straight one, I hoped to pitch the ball on the wickets and it ended up going straight through him, it was a great start," Parkes said.
The talented swing bowler had performed well across the three local formats, consistently picking up key wickets.
Now, looking towards his club's final national club championship qualifier against Greerton in Tauranga tomorrow , Parkes reflected on what had been a standout season.
"I've just been trying to make my way into the Northland team and establish a regular spot.
"I'm getting used to it a bit more now, but to start with it was a bit nerve wracking. Everyone has accepted me into the team quite nicely though."
Parkes was the key figure in Kamo's 50-over Lion Cup trophy win over Kaipara Flats last weekend, taking four wickets in his side's defence of a paltry first innings score of 126.
Parkes claimed his first victim in the first over of Kaipara's innings. He went on to take four wickets in a game-changing performance, leaving the opposition all out for 89.
"I did really want to help get us off to a good start, pick up a couple of early ones and put Kaipara under pressure," Parkes said.
"When I got the first two wickets, I started feeling pretty good and it snowballed from there, but it was a good effort from everyone who bowled."
The finals win for Kamo was extra sweet for Parkes after what had been a busy summer of cricket.
He played right through the senior secondary schools tournament in December in Gisborne before jumping on a bus to Taupo and representing Northland in the Northern Districts T20 competition.
"I was pretty tired by the end of it, but it was good to get through," he said.
On Thursday, Parkes fell agonisingly short of toppling school champions Whangārei Boys' High School in the Bruce Scott Trophy at Kensington Park.
Representing Kamo High School, Parkes had not beaten Boys' High in the last four years in the competition and lost by one run with one ball remaining.
WBHS had made 140 in their first innings of the 20-over match, Parkes picking up four wickets. Needing 13 off the final over to win, Parkes was run-out on 43 and his side was all out for 139 with one ball left.
"It was a frustrating result because we should've got over the line, but it was a good effort," he said.
Despite the ups and downs, Parkes said his first season representing Northland had gone well, all things considered, and hoped he could improve in the off-season.
"I definitely think it's been going well, I'd like to get a few more wickets but I think it's been a good start.
"Hopefully, over the off-season, I'll gain an extra yard of pace and work on my consistency to help build more pressure, but the pace will help with that as well."
Parkes' assets were his consistency in line and length which forced batters to either improvise or continue defending, and would often bring about a mistake.
As well as his obvious success with the ball, Parkes had contributed well with the bat, often as a hitter towards the end of the innings or scoring vital runs when his top order had collapsed.
Parkes said fellow Kamo player and former Black Cap Bruce Martin had helped his progression with the bat in his hopes of becoming a fully-fledged allrounder.
"[Martin] has been really good in helping me because I want to chip in with the bat when needed because I'm trying to build to that allrounder position.
"Batting is fun, I really like it and being able to bat and bowl involves me more in the game and gives me more chances to help the team, being out there among it."
Parkes had aspirations to go far in cricket but, for the moment, was focused on making the Northern Districts representative teams in the coming years.
"My aim is to get in the under-19 team next year but if I don't do it then, I've still got another year to make it.
"In the future, hopefully I'll playing for Northern Districts and the Black Caps, but we'll just take it one step at a time."
If Kamo beat Greerton tomorrow, they advance to the national club championships in Auckland as the Northern Districts representatives to play against the top club teams from the five other regions.