The long wait is almost over. This Friday night is the first time in 2020 that clubs are able to competitively play each other in Gaelic football - 16 weeks after the usual starting date for club hostilities to resume.
July 17 was the date set on the GAA's Return To Play guide and happily the Down county board favour Friday night games.
Ballyholland Harps will be playing host to last year's Division Two champions, Carryduff.
Harps stalwart Paul Murphy will be ready to go at it again. One 'Last Dance?' Maybe. Maybe not. How many seasons has it been now? Almost 25. And yet when he lines out it will be at midfield, the most demanding position on the field.
Murphy's abilities carried him beyond most Ballyholland players, right onto the Down county squad for around eight seasons.
There were a few high points, but one balmy summer night in Newry sticks in the memory. Marking another warrior in Brian Dooher, Down turned then-Ulster champions Tyrone over in a thrilling replay that went to extra-time.
By season's end, Dooher had lifted Sam Maguire as Tyrone captain and later picked up an All-Star. He didn't earn it that night in Newry.
And yet here is Murphy, still going strong all these years on. It's easy to play on when your club is constantly in contention for the big honours, but all he has to show for a club career stretching across four different decades are two Intermediate Championships in 1999 and 2003.
So, what is it? "Just the love of my club," he answers.
"Even when I played with Down and played with them for eight years, yes I loved pulling on the red and black but there was always a serious pull back to my club.
"The lads you grew up with - and there are not as many of them playing as there was, but myself and Ronan Murtagh are still trying."
When it comes to veteran footballers pointing out the contributing factors of a long career, three elements that feed into their longevity are family, injuries and career.
Murphy is married to Shona, who was a former player with Ballyhegan outside Armagh City. Her father was Chairman of the club. It has been bred into her. And their own children Tom (7), James (4) and Peter (2) - well, they have a choice of course. But what do you think?
As for the body, one year when he was playing for Down he had an issue with ankle ligaments that required surgery. Other than that, he has been blessed with a healthy body despite his robust style.
For most players with desk-bound jobs, pre-season can be a desperate slog. On the one hand, you are trying to get fit and push the body, while most are carrying a little weight making them more prone to injury.
Murphy works as a foreman, doing groundswork, which leaves him active on his feet all day. Not much chance of gaining a few pounds in a job like that.
"You do your day's work and then you come home and motivate yourself to go out to training and get the young lads up for it," he explains.
"You do it because you love it and you want your club to do well. And you want to win a senior Championship."
The fact that Ballyholland are talking in these terms is down to two factors; a promising young group who have acquainted themselves with silverware coming through the underage system, and the irrepressible Steven Poacher, who combined his role coaching Carlow with managing the Down club for the last several years.
"Steven has been brilliant for our club. We were an up and down club - Division One, Division Two - just floating between the two," says Murphy. "He came in and put his stamp on the team and gets the best out of the players that he has. He kept us in Division One for seven years so you can't ask for anything more.
"We are now in Division One this past eight or nine years and that is only good for our club. But he was a good coach and a great friend. We tried to make him an honorary Harps man, but…"
Poacher has moved on and the baton has been passed to co-management team of Justin Lynch and Damian McCrink. The faces change but the demands, asked of and delivered by club legends such as Murphy never dip or drop.
While he drags himself out year after year, the thought of retirement a sick dread rather than a potential relief, he struggles to empathise with those that quit playing while in their prime.
"I hate to see talent wasted," he states.
"From your mid-20s, girlfriends and wives come along, jobs, social lives and all those things are very important. But myself and Ronan have managed to juggle all that and give a commitment. In my heart of hearts, I wish other lads in the club could do that too. Give 100% to the club.
"They don't see it now, but in time they might look back and say that they might have given it their all in that five or six years when we have everyone."
Chances are those kind of feelings are thin on the ground the week leading up to the first league game. This year of all years when, as he says himself, nobody thought there would have been a ball kicked in anger.
"We all thought at a time there would have been no football this year," he adds.
"Essentially when you are hitting 40, every year counts and every game counts so it would have been hard to come back next year when I knew I was going to be 41 during the season and try to play.
"But it would be an awful way to have gone out if coronavirus stopped us playing this year so it is great to be back."
Indeed it is.