The Dubbo Kangaroos haven't been back at training that long but there's been enough time for the jokes to start.
Shaun McHugh has laughed along as many teammates have pointed out a delayed start to the season and shortened campaign could well extend the Roos and Central West stalwart's career for many years.
And while the Roos skipper doesn't know if it's true or not, he knows his side needs to make the most of its chances this season.
The Roos are one of five clubs contesting the 2020 Blowes Clothing Cup.
The competition starts on July 18 and features just nine rounds, compared to the 15 played last year, before the top four sides move through to the semi-finals.
"If you're off to a slow start it could be all over," McHugh said.
"Start slow and finish early. It's as simple as that while if you win a few early you could get on a real roll."
There's no easing into things for the Roos as they will to meet defending premiers Bathurst Bulldogs in the opening round.
The match will be played at Apex Oval, the Roos' home for this year due to construction at No. 1 Oval, before a trip to Orange City in round two is followed with a bye.
The draw was released last week, making this season a reality, and McHugh admitted it's something he wouldn't have expected just a few months ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many regional competitions to its knees and when the Group 11 rugby league season was cancelled the rangy back-rower thought it was only a matter of time until his code was abandoned for the year as well.
"But [Central West chief executive] Matt Tink wanted to play and it will be interesting to see the benefit of that this year and the years to come," McHugh said.
"It's a good thing, for sure. It will be short, which is nice in a way, and it will be interesting to see what happens. Just two rounds like this could become the norm."
The uncertainty and stop-start nature of the season hasn't affected enthusiasm at the Dubbo club.
There was roughly 60 players regularly turning out for pre-season sessions prior to the COVID-19 pandemic arriving on our shores and while every club has taken a hit in recent months the numbers for the Roos have still been strong.
Club president Gerald Webster said there was enough for three senior grades while a host of league players have also come forward and enquired in recent weeks.
"We don't kid ourselves. Blokes just want to get out of the house," McHugh laughed, adding the chance to get back into contact work recently has been welcomed.
"It's been nice to get back into a bit of normality so hopefully we can get the season off to a good start."
The Roos have one trial game confirmed before the Blowes Clothing Cup season starts.
The side will head north to tackle the Tamworth Pirates on July 11, a week before the opening round clash with Bulldogs.
Cowra will not play in the cup this season after deciding to sit the year out.