Gloucestershire have made their first signing of the winter by agreeing terms with 22-year-old Rob Woodman.
The left-handed all-rounder scored in excess of 1,000 runs for MCC Young Cricketers last season and will get his second stint of first-class cricket, having previously appeared for Somerset in three championship and four one-day matches in 2005.
He appeared on trial for Glos in the final match of last season, taking 4-65 to raise hope of a second-coming.
Tom Richardson described Woodman as a promising young cricketer and the signing was motivated by the club's desire to develop youth.
Develop youth maybe, but will his batting be worthy of inclusion in the top five? Or will his capabilities as an all-rounder see him slot in at number six? A great deal of emphasis will be on his left-arm seamers and whether they will be good enough to allow the shire to play with an extra batsman, or whether he will become part of the back-up squadron, placing even greater emphasis on the four front-line bowlers.
If it proves the latter, he may join the Ali/Porterfield scrap and, given the chance, runs must be made if he is to get a run in the side. Otherwise a season of 2nd X1 cricket beckons. Hopefully he has developed since his first exposure at the top-level, and an older, more experienced head will be able to cut his teeth.
The club do not need more average cricketers with a bit of talent, capable of scoring a hundred every five matches. Quality is needed, and he will be judged by weight of runs - so lacking in the lower-middle order. Ideally, he will be able to bat with the tail and provide resistance when required, in order to put a stop to the dreadful collapses endured last season.
It is an interesting signing, hopefully one for the future, but a quick bowler is still required to provide the much-needed firepower and aggression only currently provided by Steve Kirby, and with the Kyle Mills deal falling through, the search continues.