After much uncertainly, the Ballarat Cricket Association looks ready to get underway sometime during October, but it's not all smooth sailing for the competition's most eastern club.
Darley currently has its senior coach and a key first grade player unable to be involved in pre-season training.
Off-field leader Brian Wheelahan and all-rounder Rahmatullah Khwaja live in the metropolitan Melbourne zone and therefore aren't able to travel to the club's home ground for cricket.
It's a bitterly disappointing situation for Wheelahan, who said he might have to consider withdrawing from the role if things don't change in the near future.
"It sucks a little bit," Wheelahan said.
"It's frustrating for me, but we have got a lot of good people that can run training. Hopefully it's only for three weeks or a month, otherwise if it goes a bit longer I'm going to have to put my hand up and stand down I guess.
"I'm spewing because I live 10 minutes down the road but I actually can't get there."
Khwaja, who lives in Sunbury, was recruited to Darley for last season and had a big impact as the team eventually secured the first grade premiership. He took 18 wickets in first grade games with his medium pace and chipped in for a few scores in the lower order.
The BCA will meet with clubs on Thursday evening to discuss when the 2020-21 season will start after the state government moved regional Victoria to step three of its COVID-19 roadmap. This allows outdoor contact and non-contact sport for people aged 18 and younger and outdoor non-contact sport for adults - with gathering and density limits - to resume.
The Lions also have some concerns with junior cricket. The club has under-17 and under-15 teams in the BCA, but also some of its youngest sides in the Melton Junior Cricket Association. It's unclear what will happen with that competition, which is based in the metropolitan zone.
Darley went through the 2019-20 firsts season unbeaten and was set to meet Golden Point in the grand final before COVID-19 brought about the cancellation of the decider. The Lions were then declared premiers.