Rob Keogh can't wait to get stuck into what he believes will be 'a very exciting' year for Northants.
A six-week spell spent playing and training in Melbourne this winter has reinvigorated Keogh's appetite for cricket ahead of the 2019 season, which starts on April 5.
And he believes there is plenty to look forward to as the County, who have recruited the likes of West Indies star Jason Holder and South African batsman Temba Bavuma, gear up for the new campaign.
"Since I've been back you can definitely tell the change in the atmosphere," Keogh said.
"It was a tough season for us last year so there's a lot of looking forward, a lot of positives.
"Everyone wants to improve and I think it'll be a very exciting year for us."
Keogh was only able to play eight times for Northants last season before heading to Australia.
He played for East Box Hill CC and trained with Big Bash side Melbourne Renegades, working with head coach Andrew McDonald and batting coach Lachie Stevens.
"It was nice to get outdoors, get a bit of sun on the back and work on some things I missed out on in the summer," Keogh said.
"It was such a frustrating summer and you can get down on yourself but I've gone away, gone with the Big Bash team and seen how much fun you can have playing cricket. Sometimes you forget that as a player.
"I really enjoyed the stint, really enjoyed training and it's made me really look forward to the season even more now."
Keogh, who won the Vitality Blast with the Steelbacks in 2016 and helped the team to the 2017 quarter-finals, missed out on the entirety of the T20 campaign in 2018 due to a finger injury picked up in a warm-up.
This may have hampered his game time, but he was still able to work on his bowling behind the scenes.
"I managed to bowl quite a lot of overs during the summer because it was my non-bowling hand, so I tried to take the positives out of it and it gave me a great opportunity to just work on my bowling and bowl as much as I can at the lads," the all-rounder explained.
"It was tough just bowling in the nets, I wanted to get out there.
"A finger injury is one of things that you can do everything other than bat and field basically.
"It gave me a good opportunity to work hard with Chris Lorkin, the strength and conditioning coach, to try to nail my fitness. I feel like that's really paid off."