Sport's version of the holiday from hell is over, but Wellington Phoenix and the A-League's players representative say their stint in Sydney isolation was worth the punt.
The NZ club's six days of quarantine ended on Tuesday, after Football Federation Australia announced a postponement of the league, with most of the players booked to be back in Wellington by the end of the day.
They had lived and trained at a secret location in Sydney, serving nearly half the mandatory fortnight's isolation.
Being cut off from physical contact with the rest of the world may have seemed a hardship, but Phoenix general manager David Dome said the players had genuinely enjoyed the experience.
They were motivated to keep the league afloat and push for silverware, so disappointment was the initial emotion on Monday, when the New Zealand Government announced a deadline for closing its borders.
As a group, they decided to return home at that stage.
"Before that, to a player and to a staff member, everyone wanted to be there and to carry on," Dome told AAP.
"They're a tight-knit bunch - one of the tightest groups we've had - and they did feel very confident about their chances in the finals.
"It was never mandated that they had to go over - it was up to each player."
Professional Footballers Association boss John Didulica was satisfied no undue pressure was put on anyone at Wellington to commit to the Sydney stay of potentially up to six weeks.
"They made a really big sacrifice to help keep the league going... but all of these things were done in full consultation with the players, ensuring that they knew what the risks and challenges would be," Didulica said.
"Once we got to a point where we felt we were asking them too much, I think the game, as one, said, 'we can't ask you to disproportionately carry the burden of continuing this league'."
Dome confirmed clearance to return home for Wellington's five import players had only been formalised by Immigration NZ on Monday.
He was highly thankful at a busy time for border officials, leading up to Wednesday night's 'lockdown'.
English trio Steven Taylor, Gary Hooper and David Ball can return, along with German Matti Steinmann and Mexican Ulises Davila.
The result was particularly wrenching for Davila, who chose to join the team in isolation, rather than travel to Mexico to be with his wife and newly born first child.
On the other hand, Luke DeVere's pregnant wife travelled from Wellington to Brisbane last week and is expected to soon give birth.
DeVere is one of four Australian players on the Phoenix roster who will join their Australian-based families. The others are Reno Piscopo, Jaushua Sotirio and Brandon Wilson.