WHATEVER will we do without the Gidmans? This understandable question is accompanied by too much woe, too much hand wringing.

Of course, Alex and Will are going to be hard for Gloucestershire CCC to replace on and off the field but now is the time to look forward.

With the Gidmans going and Ian Saxelby retiring three of the club’s largest earners are off the payroll.

Captain Klinger does not return until June and I expect two squad players to move on. This frees up cash that can be spent on new players. We can recruit and we can freshen up the squad. The search is already on.

Michael Klinger, back in Australia, is looking for a fast bowler to take his place during April and May.

Much championship cricket is played then in bowler-friendly conditions and finding an appropriate speed merchant for the early season is the best way of filling the Klinger gap. Who else will be arriving? It is too early for names yet but perhaps one experienced batsman and if we are really lucky a spin bowler.

Players will approach us, either through agents or individually. Gemaal Hussain who left us after a brilliant first season in 2010, vanished without trace at Somerset and was released in 2013. He is still writing letters to many English counties asking for a trial. Last season he played for several different county 2nd XIs.

John Bracewell and his team will soon be sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

We can, of course, approach players whose contracts are running out. When I was chairman approaches were made to Paul Franks (Notts), Tom Smith (Lancs) and Dawid Malan (Middx). I expect we have some players already identified. There is one problem here. The players can play off one county against another, using interest from Gloucestershire as a bargaining plea in obtaining a pay rise.

Then there is recruiting from within the county, preferably signing players from our own academy. This is the best way forward and we have some splendid emerging players, but many, quite correctly think about education as well.

Will Tavare took a degree before joining us and some promising 18-year-olds may well do the same but at least Gloucestershire now have some who are almost ready.

Captaining is the biggest problem. Who replaces Michael for the first two months? Should Michael be captain at all as he is coming for a part of the season? There are no easy answers to this one.

I found time on Saturday to drop in to Cirencester rugby club’s neat and tidy ground at The Whiteway. There was a large, cheerful crowd for the visit of Stroud.

A spirited match ensued, but my rugby experts concluded it was a very scrappy affair. Cirencester won 12-10. Last time I saw Stroud play was 1957 and their opponents were Bristol. Rugby clubs fortunes can obviously go up as well as down but Stroud have fallen a long way.