Derbyshire head into the season with much resting on the shoulders of Aussie duo Chris Rogers and Stuart Law.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 14/04/09 1:53pm
After making slight improvements on the field in 2008, Derbyshire head into this season hoping for a stress-free campaign.
On paper the appointment of Rikki Clarke as captain last summer looked shrewd. In reality, it was anything but. It has now been left to Australian Chris Rogers to turns things around at the County Ground.
However, it is the arrival of Rogers' compatriot Stuart Law which will have the Derbyshire faithful dreaming of lifting their first piece silverware since winning the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1993.
After his acrimonious departure from Lancashire, Law arrives in the East Midlands on a limited-overs contract.
His signing is a timely one - second to bottom finishes in Division Two of the Pro40 and the Twenty20 Cup providing little cheer for Phantoms followers last season.
As well as the signing of Law, Derbyshire have added to their strong all-rounder department with the capture of Warwickshire's Tim Groenewald.
He is joined by Durham's former back-up gloveman Garry Park and promising leg-spinner Mark Lawson, formerly of Yorkshire, after both found first-team opportunities at their respective counties limited.
There are also a number of notable absentees from Derbyshire's pre-season training camp. Left-arm paceman Kevin Dean and veteran all-rounder Graeme Welch have officially called time on their playing careers.
Consecutive sixth-placed finishes in Division Two of the County Championship have built a platform on which Derbyshire will look to build for the future.
And with promising youngsters Jonathan Clare and Dan Redfern beginning to shine, coach John Morris has more reasons to be cheerful than fearful.
Big year for: Graham Wagg - With 59 County Championship wickets and over 500 runs to his name in 2008, Derbyshire will be hoping for more of the same from Wagg this summer. His performances have made the England Lions selectors stand up and take note and an equally impressive campaign this time out could help end a 16-year trophy drought at the County Ground.