EVERY time that Adam Ryan steps on the field as skipper of the Bathurst District Cricket Association first XI he considers it to a be privilege.
He's not alone in feeling the pride of wearing the green and gold either and is a factor that has helped transform Bathurst into a force of the Western Zone.
The transformation from a side which conceded 421 runs in a 50-over match against Dubbo in 2006 to one which was crowned undefeated Western champions last season has taken time.
It's part of the reason why Ryan gets so much enjoyment from seeing the position of strength Bathurst is currently in.
"Just the whole town has a unison of wanting to be in that top team and we want to build that culture of seeing that as something to work towards," Ryan said.
"We're in a really good place and just the enjoyment everyone gets from playing on a Sunday is just phenomenal. It helps when you're winning as well, it's just great to be a part of.
"It's not a given right to play for Bathurst, it's a privilege and you make the most of it when you get the opportunity."
Last Sunday saw a rarity when two senior open Bathurst representative sides played on the one day - the first XV in Western Zone Premier League, the second XI in the Hartas Trophy. Both won.
There's a huge amount of talent in the Hartas side, but as Ryan pointed out, cracking the first XI isn't easy given their strengths.
"Nic [Broes] brings a lot of experience from a young age and lot of talent with him. You feel so comfortable with him in the side and guys like Peakers [Ryan Peacock and Connor [Slattery] there," the captain said.
"They've just got this awe about them that top four or five at the moment and it's good to be around. To think that we've got Jameel [Qureshi], Sammy [Macpherson], Immy [Qureshi], myself, Cooper [Brien] in the bottom half - it's a privilege to have a line up like that."
The captain welcomes the hunger of the current first XI to keep improving, just as he likes to see others outside that side staking their claims.
"It's four weeks now before the next one [WZPL game] and time for players all around the grounds to give us a selection nightmare," he said. "It's good to see so many guys playing well."
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