A week in Sydney isolation was all in vain for Wellington Phoenix, who will return home following the A-League's indefinite suspension.
It was sport's version of the holiday from hell but Wellington Phoenix and the A-League's players representative say their stint in Sydney isolation was worth the punt.
The Kiwi club's six days of quarantine ended on Tuesday after FFA 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 of 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 New Zealand's government announced a deadline for closing its borders.
They decided as a group at that stage to return home.
"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 there was no undue pressure 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 what is 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.
It is nevertheless a wrenching result 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.
It is the opposite for Luke DeVere, whose 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.