Glamorgan’s diligent pre-season preparations equip the squad for tough opening matches of 2018.
If 2017 was a season that offered so much promise for Glamorgan but didn't quite deliver silverware, 2018 is that trickiest of things: both a transition campaign and one that could bring a much coveted trophy.
Glamorgan's blend of youth and experience has meant performance has been variable across the three formats in recent years. It will be a balancing act once more.
The Welsh county bucked the trend of recent seasons last year by storming to the T20 Blast semi-finals - for the first time in 13 years - when few (outside of South Wales) had expected them to qualify from the South group.
Boosted by the arrival of seasoned Australia international Shaun Marsh in the batting department, plus another overseas T20 specialist - whose identity is not yet known - Glamorgan fans have every right to believe they can go one better this time around.
Their army of talented, but inexperienced young batsman have had time to develop.
Aneurin Donald has been schooled at the Gary Kirsten academy in South Africa, all-rounder Andrew Salter has spent a season in New Zealand, while the likes of Nick Selman and Kiran Carlson enjoyed successful finishes to the 2017 season. David Lloyd, the sole representative of North Wales in their squad, has been touted for the England Lions in the past.
With Marsh available in all three formats and the leadership of white-ball talisman Colin Ingram in one-day and T20 cricket, the chances of lifting either the T20 Vitality Blast or Royal London One Day Cup seem good. Losing both Ingram and Jacques Rudolph from the four-day team will be a blow but Marsh will shoulder plenty of responsibility for runs, as any good overseas player should.
The transition comes in moving forward Glamorgan's four-day form after two disappointing seasons in the County Championship. Ingram has inspired the county to become white-ball contenders. He won't be there to hit red-ball runs this time around.
But while batting has inadequate in recent years, the hope from head coach Robert Croft is that the extra years Donald and company have accrued, plus the return of county legend Matthew Maynard as batting consultant coach, will help in that area.
Marsh arrives off the back of an Ashes series in which he was pivotal for Australia. Yet he arguably has a more important role when he touches down in the Welsh capital to inspire this green young group onto county success.
Fellow Aussie Michael Hogan will lead the County Championship team, as Glamorgan begin with tough away assignments to Gloucestershire and recently relegated Middlesex at Lord's. Following their concluding friendly against Cardiff MCCU.
It could be a blessing in disguise to have such daunting fixtures first up. It has meant the county have prepared with diligence, beating Surrey twice on a pre-season tour to Dubai and matching Lancashire step for step in a Cardiff-based friendly last week.
When the real action rolls around on April 20, Croft will hope his troops are raring to go after a tougher pre-season programme.
“It sped up the match readiness for us," said the former England spin bowler.
"In recent times, we haven’t had a lot of that harder edge in competition ahead of the season, so that’s a positive.
"Provided everybody’s fit, we’ve got a pretty strong team."
A fast start, something that has eluded in the county in the past two years, is essential to harnessing a winning spirit and then attracting the famous loud Welsh crowds when the white-ball cricket lands.
The way this talented young team play, it should be an exciting season whatever happens.
Article written by Dominic Booth, Wales Online’s Cricket Correspondent