After an acrimonious divorce and the worst of a devastating disease (touch wood), Northern Inland Football's showpiece division will emerge from the darkness into the light on Saturday.
Perhaps no one will savour that more than Toby McVey, NIF's competitions administrator/operations manager.
Entrusted with overseeing NIF during the COVID crisis, following Julia Farina's departure as general manager, McVey has put together a 14-round truncated competition, as many other sporting organisations abandoned the season.
This year's Premier Division has gone through a rebirth after the bitter departure of the Armidale clubs during the off-season.
That has resulted in a new-look competition, with Moore Creek, Kootingal, Gunnedah, South United and Quirindi joining established Premier Division clubs OVA, Tamworth and North Companions in the top flight in 2020. It's the first time Moore Creek, South United and Quirindi have been in the premier division.
"It's been a long time coming," McVey said of the COVID-delayed season launch. He added: "It's been nine months for a lot of our players since their last competitive football match. So this weekend is very exciting."
McVey said the step-up in class would provide the Premier Division's new entries with the chance to "show what they've got".
While he said there was an "unknown" factor about the competition given its drastic revamp, he expects it to be "very competitive".
"It's a very positive step forward," he said. "Coming out of COVID, everyone's just glad to be getting back on the field.
"A lot of players have swapped clubs, or gone back to their home junior club, so it will be very interesting and exciting to see how it all unfolds."
On Saturday, Moore Creek and Kooty clash at Gipps St, Tamworth and South United meet at Johnson Field, Quirindi and Northies clash at Longfield Park, and the Mushies encounter Gunnedah at Riverside 3.