EASTERN Province manager Richard Hargreaves says his charges are fired up to throw the first punch at this year's South African men's golf interprovincial, which kicks off at PE Golf Club on Monday.
EP will be competing in Section B and have their sights set on promotion.
"Promotion is definitely on the cards," Hargreaves said. "We are ready to eradicate an eight-year drought. We have a top team in place this year, we are heavy on experience and confidence, and we are spoiling for the fight."
The six teams which will battle the hosts for promotion are Border, Ekurhuleni, North West, Mpumalanga and the two sides EP face on Monday, Southern Cape and Free State-Northern Cape.
"Southern Cape were relegated last year, so they will come back strong, and the Free State side are just as hungry as we are," Hargreaves said.
"They are definitely our biggest opposition, and if we can get past Monday unscathed, we will have the momentum on our side.
"We did it here at home back in 2003 and we are ready to do it again.
"We are going into this with a positive team spirit and the eight guys who are ready to do the job."
After a disappointing fifth place last year, the EP side put all their energy into preparing for this year's championship and Hargreaves is bringing some heavy guns to the fight.
"The top six guys usually qualify on ranking and we choose two wild cards, but this year the team really chose itself," he said.
"We have No1 to No8 on the rankings batting for Eastern Province. That gives us a lot of experience and the fresh input from our new caps.
"Our skipper Naldo Claasen and Sieg Human line up for a third time, Ray Taverner makes his second appearance for the side and Andre van Staden his fourth. And Mzuyanda Zingela, who has been the mainstay of the team, is playing in his 21st IPT.
"That is a lot of experience to combine with our new caps – Ryno Ferreira, Fezekile Kana and Andile Adam."
20-year-old Kana said,"We were really excited when we got the call."
"It's such an incredible honour for us to represent EP at national level. We can't wait to get out there and prove our selectors right." Adam, who has represented EP at age- group level, agreed.
"We really have a chance this year to gain promotion. Fezekile and I are the youngest in the side and we will throw everything into the battle."
Hargreaves and the team were counting on their home course advantage to succeed.
"The guys are used to playing at the coast. They are all wind specialists, so we are hoping it blows a gale come Monday."