If good preparation is worth anything, Derbyshire's prompt work in securing the services of another key senior player today should reap rewards in time.
Tony Palladino has been an exemplary cricketer for the club since his move from Essex and today's announcement, of his signing a new two-year deal, effectively ensures that he finishes his career with us.
That is especially relevant with his role including coaching responsibilities, something that will doubtless please a player whose experience alone suggests him as someone with plenty to offer the younger bowlers.
He has again done well this year, despite having to play the part of stock bowler due to the lack of strike options at the other end. Our rich collection of seam bowlers can only benefit from his experience and input and I am delighted that his involvement with a club that means so much to him will continue.
It does suggest, at least to me, that the person who will be in charge of affairs next summer and beyond is already at the club, or is in discussions about the way forward. Logically, one doesn't sign up five players for another two years or more, then appoint a coach who may or may not have wanted them on board. Securing the services of Billy Godleman and Shiv Thakor was a no-brainer, as was the deal for Will Davis. Rob Hemmings would perhaps have needed a decision, with little first team experience to judge him by, while appointing TP to some form of coaching role must have had input from the head coach they have in mind, or someone likely to be involved in some capacity.
That's my take anyway. I do hope that an announcement on a future structure and that crucial coaching role is made sooner, rather than later, as the successful candidate needs as long as possible to sort his squad for a key summer next year.
The recent flurry of activity seems to leave two senior players in a 'pending' tray - Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston. Both have contracts up for renewal, each may or may not be offered or sign them. One can never tell and it will continually come down to one crucial question - is there someone out there who is better, younger and better value? Like the rest of you, I have no idea of our winter plans, but if the chairman is going on record about big improvements and changes, there has to be more in the pipeline than engaging our better young players long term, laudable as that is.
I totally 'get' the cynicism of one or two of you with recent comments on this, but would urge you to wait and see. If we get to next March with no new or bigger names then the knives will doubtless be out. For now, let's trust some very good people with excellent contacts to deliver on promises.
It does, as one or two of you have pointed out recently, feel like the end of the season already, despite there being a few games to go. I think those games will be important for some young players, gaining exposure at a higher level and staking a claim for inclusion, or a contract, another year.
Finally tonight, it is good to see David Wainwright back in the county game with Hampshire. He's done well in the Minor Counties this year and will have built his confidence up accordingly. A few runs and a couple of wickets has done him no harm today and it would be good to see a lovely bloke get another opportunity at this level.