It's been 575 days since the last Horsham District league game.
For over a year-and-a-half the region's ovals lay dormant.
Gone was the colour. No sound of cracked cans and muffled jeers that flank a country football game.
Football was a memory and 2020 was a dagger to rural communities, connected and inspired by their sporting clubs.
Now, on Saturday, a new chance awaits.
It will look different of course, with socially-distanced fans and hand-sanitiser and health warnings littered around the ground.
But, finally, the Horsham District Football Netball League is back.
"It's huge. Football is a way of life for a lot of people to be honest," Taylors Lake coach Brandon Weatherson said.
"Yes, some people play it to pass the time but others work Monday to Friday to get their Saturday fix.
"There's no real township out at Taylors Lake but for the people who usually go to footy and trainings I think they will be grateful that it's back.
"(Football) is really important to society."
The importance of football-netball clubs to rural communities has been amplified recently.
"The club is eveyone's social outlet for the weekend. The reason I took this job on was because of the community's backing of the club," Edenhope-Apsley coach Guy Smith said.
"I was speaking with the president Carolyn (Middleton) and she said it was hard (out there) because they haven't seen a lot of people due to there being no season.
"It's not all about football. It's netball, it's the juniors, it's the social aspect of having a season.
"We really need to get going because it's going to kill clubs otherwise."
What a day at the football and netball looks like was the big question of the summer.
Initially crowds were going to be capped at 1000, though that has now soared to 5000 on state government advice.
Matchdays will still have a uniquely COVID twist, with footballs needing to be cleaned at each break of the match and clubs encouraged to limit change room access to players and key staff only.
As for the game itself, coaches are warning fans not to expect gold-standard footy in the early rounds.
"I said to the boys round four is when we'll start unfolding how we want to play," Harrow-Balmoral coach Nick Pekin said.
"You can't just expect (the best) after having a year off. It will certainly take a bit of adjusting. There's nothing like playing a hard game of footy."
HDFNL round one fixtures
All senior football games start at 2:20pm
Harrow-Balmoral v Pimpino (played at Balmoral)
Edenhope-Apsley v Laharum (played at Edenhope)
Kaniva-Leeor United v Kalkee
Natimuk United v Rupanyup
Noradjuha Quantong v Swifts
Jeparit Rainbow v Taylors Lake (played at Rainbow)