This coming week, Scotland hosts the ICC European Under-15 Division 1 Championship. At New Williamfield, Stirling County CC's brand new facility under the shadow of the Ochil Hills, five teams will compete for the honour of being crowned European champions. But what can we expect from each of them?
Now well-established in Division 1, having been promoted in 2008, Guernsey should be confident of another strong showing. Following a successful start to the summer, in which victories have been recorded over Kent U-15s and Jersey, preparations for this tournament have concluded with three matches against Somerset U-15s. Captain Toby Belton is only one of several Guernsey players who will be able to call on previous years' experience at this level: Luke le Tisser, James Wilkes-Green, Sam Hale, and Jordon Martel were all part of the team which finished in a very creditable third placed last year.
Fellow Channel Islanders Jersey, skippered by Dominic Blampied, have been equally impressive since their elevation to Division 1 and have a proud track record, including a second place finish in Dundee in 2009. Coached by national player Peter Gough and managed, as ever, by Chris Minty, the Jersey outfit should be well-drilled and disciplined.
The Irish, captained by Thomas Anders, are looking to regain a title they last held in 2007. Within their number are a crop of hugely talented individuals who have been making waves in Irish domestic cricket. Seamer Adam Dennison recently became the youngest person ever to play in the Northern Cricket Union's Challenge Cup Final, opening batsman Gary McClintock has scored a hundred at Lord's, while Mark Adair has already scored a remarkable double century this season.
The Dutch, meanwhile, having finished in only fifth place in Deventer last year, will no doubt be looking to regain the form which saw them challenge Scotland and Ireland over the past decade. Sikander Zulfiqar starred for the team during its Twenty20 tour to Denmark in July and is part of a remarkable cricketing family: alongside Asad and Saqib, he is one of triplets, all of whom are in the Dutch squad, which is coached by their father - and former Dutch senior international - Ahmed.
Finally, host nation Scotland will be looking to continue an impressive run in this championship, one which has seen them lift the trophy in each of the past three years. Several members of last year's winning squad - including William Edwards, who was the leading run-scorer in that tournament - have returned, making the Scottish a fierce proposition on home territory. Led by leg-spinner Andrew Umeed, for whom 2011 will be a fourth year at this level, the Scots have so far enjoyed consecutive victories over Cumbria U-15s and finished preparations on a high note with a comfortable win over Herefordshire U-15s.
Whatever the recent form, though, nothing is certain for any of the teams: all five will go into the tournament confident of success, and a hugely competitive week of cricket is expected.