The Bristol faithful will be hoping the return of Jack Russell to Gloucestershire can spark a turnaround in fortunes.
An injury-plagued season in 2007 saw them finish in the lower reaches of Division Two of both the county championship and Pro40, the lone bright spot being an appearance in the Twenty20 Cup final.
Those performances prompted a change of management structure including the departure of coach Mark Alleyne, ending his 22-year association with the county.
Former England wicketkeeper Russell has been brought in under the title of 'team strategist' and, given that his role encompasses off-pitch guidance in all playing matters, is effectively stepping into his ex-team-mate Alleyne's shoes.
Captain Jon Lewis missed a large portion of last season and will be hoping for an injury-free run in order to fully showcase his leadership skills in addition to spearheading the bowling attack alongside Steve Kirby.
West Australian left-hander Marcus North, who enjoyed a brief stint with the county last season, returns for a full campaign as overseas player and the batting is further bolstered by the recruitment of Ireland opener William Porterfield on a two-year deal.
Further good news is the ECB's decision to accept the registration of New Zealand batsman Hamish Marshall - who has an Irish passport - despite his participation in the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League.
Big year for: Steve Kirby - The ginger-haired firebrand impressed after returning from injury in the second half of last season. One of the few genuine speed merchants in the county game, an England call-up remains a possibility, although at the age of 30 time is running short.
One to watch: Vikram Banerjee - The left-arm spinner claimed 26 - albeit expensive - wickets in 2007 in his first full county season after graduating from Cambridge University. An attacking mindset and willingness to give the ball a rip mean there are some who believe he could develop into an England rival for Monty Panesar.