The Palmerston North Boys' High School first XI are full of confidence going into the Gillette Cup competition at Lincoln University tomorrow.
Boys' High head to the one-day tournament against the top schools from the other associations looking to improve on their sixth last year.
"We've got a very good chance of winning it," coach Mike Taiuru said. "Schoolboy cricket's a little bit unpredictable at times. We're more than capable of beating every other team in this Gillette Cup final and winning it.
"If we have any bad days we could definitely struggle, no doubt about that. [But] we've got a number of potential match-winners in the side who just have to switch on and do the job at the end of the day."
While they haven't had much luck with the weather raining off a lot of club cricket recently, the team toured India and South Africa in September, so they are not short of cricket.
Taiuru said every player was positive they could perform well and they have the right attitude to win.
Hayden Hill, Arana Noema-Barnett, Navin Patel, Anu Ganugapati, Cameron Rowe and Tiago Jahufer remain from last year's campaign.
Last year Boys' High had only one win, as they knocked off Hutt International Boys' School, so those experienced players will need to step up from last season.
Taiuru said most members of the team were also looking to go out with a bang as they finished school.
"For 10 boys here, it's their final year at school, their last hurrah once the Gillette Cup's over."
Jamie Marshall is unavailable so Jack Leenards has been called up from the second XI.
The other schools returning from last year's tournament are Otago Boys' High School, Tauranga Boys' College and King's College from Auckland.
They are joined by five-time winners Christchurch Boys' High School, as well as first-time qualifiers Hutt Valley High School and St Peter's College, from Cambridge.
Taiuru has been doing research on the teams and was unsure what to expect from most of them, but said teams like King's College should be strong.
Beating the Otahuhu-based King's would be a tough job, with the school having won the title the past two years in a row.
The last time Boys' High won the competition was when they shared the title with King's in 2004.
Boys' High start the tournament against Otago Boys' High School tomorrow.
PNBHS team: Navin Patel, Tiago Jahufer, Arana Noema-Barnett, Cameron Rowe, Hayden Hill, Scott Mitchell, Sam Wilson, Jackson Gattsche, Matthew Wells, Anu Ganugapati, Jack Leenards, Hayden Spencer.
PNBHS draw: Thursday - Otago BHS; Friday - King's College; Saturday - Hutt Valley HS; Sunday - Christchurch BHS; Monday - St Peter's College.
- The Manawatu Standard