The GAA could be said to be in limbo right now but that does not stop managers and players from focusing on what they hope will prove a ground-breaking season.
With the format for the overall fixtures programme having already been outlined, a fresh challenge awaits those involved at the top tier in particular.
And the newly-restructured Allianz League will present the first challenge at elite level, the down-sized team groupings having already convinced everyone involved that hitting the ground running will be a priority.
For Down, newly-promoted to Division Two, the league will represent "a whole new ball game" according to long-serving forward Paul Devlin, who had much to do with hauling the side out of Division Three when the concluding matches in the competition were played in October.
"We have been drawn with Mayo, Meath and Westmeath in the Division Two North group and you could hardly ask for a tougher task," points out Kilcoo clubman Devlin.
"Mayo put up a very good fight in the All-Ireland final against Dublin, Meath played their football in Division One and Westmeath are always regarded as tough opponents. The league will be a whole new ball game in every sense."
Yet Devlin and his Mourne colleagues are relishing the prospect of testing themselves against what they believe will be quality opposition.
"The only way we can improve as a team is by playing against sides who will provide us with big tests rather than by playing against teams we are expected to beat," affirms the straight-talking Devlin.
"We will learn more about ourselves both individually and collectively by facing quality opposition. Let's be honest, you might get away with some mistakes against lower-ranked teams but when you make mistakes against the better sides you will be severely punished."
Under Paddy Tally, Down have gradually improved and the inclusion of a number of newcomers over a period of time has added stability and creativity to the side.
Peter Fegan, Patrick Murdock, Daniel Guinness, Owen McCabe, Pierce Laverty, Jonny Flynn and Liam Kerr are among players who have stepped up smartly to the mark of late as Tally continues to nurture fresh talent.
But Devlin acknowledges that the whole squad will require to be on their toes for what is viewed as a short, sharp league campaign that he believes will test the mettle of even the best sides.
"I think that managers will be more ruthless in selecting their teams because they know that they cannot afford to drop points. Teams will want to avoid relegation play-offs if they can help it, and the best way of achieving that is by not dropping any points if at all possible," insists Devlin.
Certainly the days when sides could 'ease' themselves into the league - even Kerry were notoriously slow starters on occasions - now appear to be consigned to the past, particularly as the provincial and All-Ireland championships will follow hard on the heels of the league this season.
"If a team loses its first game, then the pressure comes on immediately, that's the long and the short of it," states Devlin.
"You could be very lucky and get two home games, which would help, but on the other hand if Down, for example, were to have to travel to two from Mayo, Meath or Westmeath then it could be tricky enough."
"There will such a fine line between promotion and relegation that every match will be a key battle.
"For us, a good performance in the league is vital - it would be a Championship boost."