The magic of the Irish Cup could lose its spell this season as the draw for the opening round takes place today.
The draw will be streamed live on the BBC Sport NI website at 5.30pm from Windsor Park but it remains unclear whether next month's ties will be played due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Reports that renewed government restrictions will come into force from December 28 for three weeks have sparked fears that matches involving non-senior teams not classed as 'elite' will have to be postponed during any new lockdown.
While the 12 Danske Bank Premiership clubs have elite status, meaning they can continue to play, the other 20 sides in the tournament do not.
The NI Football League Championship and Premier Intermediate League clubs haven't been able to start their league seasons yet and were hoping to kick off their campaigns on Saturday, January 2.
The Irish FA Challenge Cup Committee reduced the number of teams in the 2020-21 competition to 32 teams, with the 24 senior clubs of the NIFL Premiership and Championship, along with eight Intermediate clubs, set to play their 'Round of 32' fixtures on Saturday, January 9.
An Irish FA spokesperson has now confirmed that it's clubs, rather than the competition, which is given an elite status, but they still remain hopeful the ties can be played next month.
"The competition cannot be deemed elite or non-elite, it's the teams within it," said the Irish FA spokesperson.
"But we will endeavour to get the games played, while keeping a watching brief on what, if any, restrictions are imposed."
If the ties cannot be played it would be a shattering blow to a tournament which has a long history of shock results, from junior side Dundela's 3-0 win over Glenavon in the 1955 decider and Carrick Rangers' 1976 2-1 final success over Linfield to Newington beating Glentoran 1-0 in 2012 and Queen's stunning Linfield 2-1 in the fifth round last season.
For 10 years Gary Hamilton has lived the dream. Pulling on the Glenavon shirt during a loan spell fulfilled a childhood ambition, and when the opportunity to return to the club as manager arose he simply couldn't say no.