The resurgence of Canberra United has stirred memories of yesteryear as club legends and rookies combine to retain their place atop the W-League ladder.
Vicki Linton's era has kicked off with two wins and a draw, with United locked into football mode after being forced to play three matches in nine days due to COVID-19 complications.
It culminated in a 1-all draw with the misfiring Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday night, securing United's lead on the W-League table for round three.
But the high flyers' momentum could be stalled by the discovery of a highly contagious COVID-19 strain in Brisbane.
ACT Health declared the Queensland city a virus hotspot on Friday, ordering anyone in Canberra who had been in greater Brisbane on or since January 2 to immediately enter 14-days' isolation.
United flew back from Brisbane that afternoon, only for travelling players and stuff to begin a fortnight's quarantine as per the new health direction.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it would be reassessed after three days, depending on how the situation in Brisbane evolved.
United is scheduled to meet the Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium in a round-four clash on Sunday, January 17. But that match is now in doubt, with the team facing the prospect of completing the full isolation period.
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Linton had been looking forward to the 10-day turnaround after United's fast start to the season, although a forced rest via quarantine is probably not what she had in mind.
"It's huge. It's necessary. Playing three games in nine days is very unusual," Linton said about the turnaround.
"I think the players could put that extra effort in knowing they had the break. Now it's just rest and recovery from this, then normal preparation for the next game."
Should United win their next match, it would be the club's best start to the season in almost a decade.
The return of five players has evoked memories of Canberra's golden era, in which they claimed two titles (2012 and 2014) and three minor-premierships.
Michelle Heyman, Nicki Flannery and Grace Maher have turned back the clock and led the charge for United in attack, having each scored at the death to secure valuable points.
In a season touted for the next generation of Australian footballers to take centre stage, its instead seen the resurgence of Heyman's career.
The former Matildas mainstay has been in vintage form and marked her return with four goals in two matches, including a hat-trick that led Canberra to a stunning 4-3 triumph over Adelaide United in round one.
She's now only three goals shy of levelling Sam Kerr as the W-League's all-time leading scorer, with the latter holding the record on 70 goals.
But Clare Polkinghorne simply refused to let Heyman influence the round-three draw with Brisbane, keeping her to three attempts with no scoring success.
The striker was often left isolated and forced out of position in attack, with United struggling to break down Brisbane's wall and complete the final touch to Heyman.
Maher pulled the trigger from the centre circle to salvage the draw, in turn submitting a strong goal of the week contender.
Across the field, it's been goalkeeper Sally James who has played a pivotal role in Canberra's early success in 2020-21.
She leads the competition with 16 saves in three appearances, nine of which came against the Roar this week.
Linton dubbed the 18-year-old talent 'player of the match' for her performance in Brisbane, although improvement is needed with her passing accuracy having made 33 at 54 percent.
But that will develop with experience and confidence, after all the teenage goalkeeper is only three matches into her W-League career.
James, a former Belconnen United player, held a scholarship with United last season. She spent the winter playing with the Illawarra Stingrays in the NSW Premier League and was part of the 2020 Future Matildas programme.
Jessika Nash, Sasha Grove, and Football Fern Paige Satchell also made their W-League debuts in the first three rounds.