Most supporters, understanding that we were in the market for a seam bowler this winter, will have been scouring squad lists of the first-class counties and seeing who might be surplus to requirements around the circuit. I've also seen a few names from the international circuit mentioned, mainly West Indians who announced their international retirement.
Few will have considered Hardus Viljoen, or thought it realistic. A seriously quick bowler with a track record to match, everyone would surely be after him.
This chap is no Nantie Hayward. Nantie had been a good bowler, albeit erratic, in his prime but didn't show all that much in a short spell with Derbyshire. Viljoen is 27, in his pomp, a 90-mile an hour plus fast bowler who is desperately unlucky to be coming to his prime at the same time as several other bowlers. South Africa's quota system has claimed another victim, but their loss is very likely to be Derbyshire's gain.
The strapping Viljoen is a genuine fast bowler. He is a spearhead for any attack, bowling at Mark Footitt pace. 367 first-class wickets at 26 tells of his quality and a solitary Test match, in which he took the wicket of Alistair Cook first ball, is scant reward for a man of his talent.
This is a bowler who has 22 five-wickets hauls. Last year, playing only the last four championship games for Kent as a substitute overseas player, he took 20 wickets at 19 runs each. He gets them out and bowls economically in the one-day game as well, the bottom line being that no one likes facing a bowler who consistently tests both their reactions and bravery.
He can bat too, with half a dozen fifties to his name, one of them as night watchman for Kent last summer. Derbyshire will hope he doesn't have to do too much of that, but he will be a useful asset down the order.
It is a terrific acquisition by the county, one that will be enjoyed by the other seamers too, who can learn from him. As we have found down the years with the likes of Les Jackson, Harold Rhodes, Michael Holding and Mark Footitt, fast and hostile bowlers often produce wickets at the other end, as batsmen take a chance. What is telling about Viljoen is that a lot of his wickets are bowled and leg before, testimony to his accuracy. He'll keep the wicket-keeper and slips in business too. Keep an eye on him over the winter and notice how many times he whips out one or two top order batsmen and then comes back to blow away the tail.
It is a throwback to the halcyon days when, if Bill Copson could get early wickets, Tommy Mitchell would handle the middle order and they would take out the tail together.
If Derbyshire had 'only' picked up Jeevan Mendis and Imran Tahir, two spinners of genuine quality, this winter, opponents will have been tempted to bat first and avoid a ball fizzing around on the final day.
Now? They will have to choose between fending off a couple of quicks on the first morning, or a world-class spinner on the last afternoon. Decisions, decisions...
This will have opened a few eyes around the country, without a doubt. Am I bothered that we have gone down the Kolpak route? Not at all, because we have signed a player of quality, not just a bloke with a passport that allows him to play here, barely better than what we already have.
What I want to see, like most of you, is a winning Derbyshire side. This winter's additions should, with luck with fitness, help us to go some way towards that.
Kim Barnett promised players who would have specific skills that would enhance what we already have. Well, we now have a genuine strike bowler, one who I reckon will be the fastest bowler in the division by some distance.
Welcome to Derbyshire, Hardus. We cannot wait to see your bowling at close quarters.
Not TOO close though...
PS Here's a video to whet your appetite - a match-winning spell for the Lions in South Africa...