Warilla junior Adam Zampa believes he is ready to fulfil his immense potential after a dream week where he made his Sheffield Shield debut.
Zampa is contracted to the Sydney Thunder for the Big Bash League and will play in the Illawarra for the first time in more than two years in tonight's Twenty20 match, against a Wollongong Invitational XI at North Dalton Park.
The 20-year-old has been on the Australian cricket radar for the past two years after playing at the under-19 World Cup in 2010.
In January, he also came on as a substitute fieldsman in the New Year's Ashes Test against India at the SCG.
But inconsistent form has meant he has had to wait for his call-up to first-class cricket.
"To be honest, the last couple of years I underperformed in grade cricket," he said.
"My first couple of seasons were quite poor, but I've improved.
"The stint over in England [in the Sussex league] was when I got the overs I needed and it's really helped me to come back a better player."
In his career highlight so far, Zampa took 2-30 and 3-17, and was at the crease when NSW hit the winning runs against Queensland at Canberra's Manuka Oval.
"To get the win made it all the more special," he said.
"I didn't get too many overs, but I guess I was just quite happy to play.
"The plan was to keep it fairly tight and I managed to break a couple of big [Queensland] partnerships in the second innings."
Zampa also made his one-day debut, taking one wicket and making 19 with the bat, as the Blues lost to the Bulls by 30 runs.
After being handed his Baggy Blue, Zampa will now swap it for the bright green of the Thunder, hoping to cement his place in Saturday night's match against the world champion Sydney Sixers with a standout performance in front of friends and family tonight.
The right-armer said the secret to his improvement has been in the consistency of bowling his stock leg-break delivery.
"I've been more consistent with it and been getting better flight, it's been a combination," he said.
He believes he can play a major role for the Thunder in this season's Big Bash League, following the success of spinners like Brad Hogg in 2011-12.
The 41-year-old left-armer took 12 wickets at 13.5 in the inaugural Big Bash League, while Shane Warne snared seven for the Melbourne Stars.
"Spinners play a big part in Twenty20, so hopefully I'll have an impact," he said.
Saturday's Big Bash League opener against the Sixers will also see Zampa go head-to-head with close mate Nic Maddinson, a fellow Warilla junior.
Zampa said he was delighted to see Maddinson snare the Champions League victory in South Africa in October, but was determined to bring him down.
"We've very good mates, ever since playing together at Warilla in my younger days," he said.
"I'm looking forward to hopefully getting the chance to play against him."
SYDNEY THUNDER v WOLLONGONG INVITATIONAL XI
Today at North Dalton Park
Gates open: 3pm
Match starts: 5.30pm
Thunder: Dirk Nannes (c), Martin Guptill, Chris Rogers, Mark Cosgrove, Cameron Borgas, Ryan Carters, Rhett Lockyear, Sean Abbott, Luke Doran, Gurinder Sanghu, Adam Zampa.
Wollongong Invitational XI: Phil Jaques (c), David Dawson, Tim Cruikshank, Simon Keen, Adam Coyte, Graeme Batty, Josh Clarke, Michael Stephenson, James Kennedy, Chris Tremain, Shane Mott, Scott Rodgie.