As far as I can see, Derbyshire are not too far away from where we need to be next season with regard to the squad.
At the risk of sounding like a detective or lawyer, consider the evidence and this notional team if you will:
Reserve batsmen - Borrington, Lineker, Park (if required)
Reserve seamers - Footitt, Turner
Reserve spinners - Knight, Needham
Reserve wicket-keeper - Poynton
Summer contracts - Burgoyne, Siddique, Slater, Higginbottom, Wilson, Hughes (Alex).
That doesn't leave a lot of scope for new arrivals. Remember, we have a finite budget which is limited at best and have awarded new and presumably improved contracts to a number of players. Having a number of senior contracted players in the Seconds is not really an option, so for me it comes down to one simple question.
Do we bring in an overseas batsman or an overseas seamer?
I've been saying for weeks that the likeliest scenario is a reversal of the Guptill/Khawaja pairing (13th August if you don't believe me) and I still think this is our best bet. Both will know conditions better next season and should show improved averages as a result. By the same token, both are excellent and popular team men, fitting in well to an excellent dressing room. Their respective commitments won't allow for a full season role, but Guptill from April to June and Khawaja to the end of the season is a good combination.
Which, looking at the names above, leaves us light in the seam department. You can't do much about injuries and they happen to the fittest of men, but if any of our top three seamers had a bad one, we're left with two guys who, while pacy, are inclined to be erratic. We really need a back up seamer, one who can give them a break and be relied on to put the ball in the right areas.
That comes, of course, with experience and there may not be the money in the budget for an experienced man, nor anyone available. I've mentioned Ben Harmison before, but he hardly bowled at Durham last season. Naqaash Tahir from Warwickshire might be an option and is rated by Graeme Welch (despite their releasing him...) but has had his own injury problems. I'm unaware of anyone else, although Ben Sanderson of Yorkshire, at least on the evidence of his bowling at the County Ground last year, might be worth a punt as an albeit inexperienced option, as could Ally Evans. The latter took a lot of wickets for the Seconds but is also raw and prone to inaccuracy, as well as potentially being at University again next year.
As always, I'd appreciate your ideas and comments, but remember - they have to be out of contract for us to sign them, so the likes of David Balcombe from Kent (OK, Hampshire really) isn't an option!