The first on field news for some time came today, with news that three young Derbyshire cricketers have been awarded summer contracts for 2015. Will Davis, Harry White and Adam Wheatcroft will all benefit from time spent working with the county coaches and alongside more established team mates.
Davis is, of course, the best known and his call up to the England Development Programme followed a successful season as Academy captain that ended with him voted Player of the Year. His talent is obvious and his potential quite substantial, if he continues to work at his game and listen to the coaches.
Wheatcroft is another seamer and has graduated through the junior ranks, also doing well for Alvaston and Boulton in the Premier League. Having just turned twenty, he has a chance to push for greater recognition after some encouraging second team displays in the past summer.
The third of them, Harry White is - wait for it - another seam bowler, but of the left-handed variety. Brother of Wayne, who returned with considerable success towards the end of the summer, Harry is another to come through the Academy but failed to gain a staff place initially. To his credit, he has gone away, worked at his game and returned to get an opportunity.
All three will be well aware that there are plenty ahead of them and Messrs Footitt, Palladino, Taylor, Cotton and Cork - not to mention Jon Clare if he returns to fitness - are ahead of them in the queue, even before considering the options afforded by Shiv Thakor and Wayne White, should he sign on a permanent deal.
It is down to them and after a few years of worrying scarcity, it appears that our seam bowling cupboard is packed to overflowing. They could not wish for a better coaching set up to get the best from them and their progress will be watched very closely.
And if you were one of those who made a purchase or two from the club book shop over the summer, then allow yourself a brief pat on the back, as these deals have been part-funded by the proceeds.
Admirable work all round, I'd say.