We have got serious reasons for optimism
HERE we are again with another season upon us and some serious reason to be optimistic about Gloucester's prospects.
Nigel Davies has done just enough in terms of acquisition of players to offer the belief the Cherry and Whites can have a serious run at every competition they are in.
While Matt Kvesic is the only one considered a blue-chip signing, there are plenty of other squad-strengthening additions, youngsters looking to make their names and guys coming back from injury to give the belief Gloucester can battle in out with the best in the Aviva Premiership.
As ever, the depth of Gloucester's squad means only with some luck with injuries will these great expectations come to fruition.
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Remember, last year's number one signing Jimmy Cowan was getting better with every game before an injury ended his season.
James Simpson-Daniel was another building some serious form when he was struck down.
That Gloucester threatened the top four last year even without such important players offers some healthy encouragement for this season which probably helped sell a few season tickets.
Having Cowan back will feel almost like having a new signing for Davies and if he continues in the same vein and with the same attitude as during his few games so far, he can have a serious influence on this squad.
Pre-season has gone pretty much as expected. It's never easy to read too much into these early games but Gloucester have certainly been given some proper match practice.
Getting Toulon and Munster on the fixture list was a bit of a double coup even if both games ended in defeat.
Meanwhile, the double header on Friday night was a great idea as it allowed the whole squad to get a run out.
There's nothing like not feeling involved as a fringe member so the chance to give everyone a game was invaluable. It also offered some good value for money in pre-season and whetted the appetite of the excellent crowd that turned up.
But all that counts for nothing when the real thing begins this weekend, Sale the visitors to an expectant Kingsholm.
Hopefully Gloucester can hit the ground running and begin the season as they mean to go on. Winning your home games in the Premiership is the bare minimum.