It's been one body blow after another for Football Mid North Coast and their vision for a state-of-the-art sporting facility at Sovereign Hills.
They had hoped the complex would be completed by the time Australia and New Zealand co-hosted the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, but that now appears unlikely.
Availability of adequate funding appears to be the major stumbling block they will need to overcome as the country begins to emerge from lockdowns while still in a global pandemic.
FMNC chairman Mike Parsons admitted time was running out although he refused to give up hope the facility could be built in the next 18 months.
"The window of opportunity is closing rapidly and while I'm a never-say-die kind of guy we remain optimistic, but I'd have to admit the window is closing," he said.
"The final draft plans are all done and the earthworks are all earmarked and I'm unaware of any changes to that. It's certainly on the high priority list for our current council."
The recent changing of the guard at state government level has also provided some unplanned speed bumps along the road.
But Mr Parsons confirmed there was no risk the construction of the facility would not proceed as scheduled - it was just likely to take longer.
"We've got the majority of the (funding) allocation from council; we just need some final amounts of money either from state or federal or both, but the project will certainly be going ahead," he said.
"If we can try and get some of this money sooner rather than later we can bring the planning forward so it is done in the timeline we would prefer."
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By the end of 2022, it was hoped the first stage of the complex - located near St Joseph's Regional College in Port Macquarie - would have been complete, but the pandemic put an end to those plans.
Stage one would include a field capable of hosting an A-League fixture complete with lighting for 500-lux along with office space, change rooms, media rooms and undercover seating.
Six-a-side synthetic training fields would complement a field that includes a cricket pitch while extra parking and other facilities will be part of the complex.
FMNC has been in negotiations with Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and deputy prime minister Michael McCormack's offices regarding the acquisition of additional funding that will be required to turn the first sod.
Mr Conaghan is believed to be supportive of the Sovereign Hills facility and is looking for suitable regional infrastructure investment opportunities.
"I've been speaking to the team at Football Mid North Coast for some months in relation to the impressive proposed facility out at Sovereign Hills and its application for the latest round of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)," he said.
"Funding under the Building Better Regions Fund supports economic and social infrastructure for the long-term benefit of regional communities.
"Infrastructure upgrades funded by the BBRF will ensure our regions remain great places to live and visit, while helping support important regional industries which create jobs.
"Like so many other fantastic projects across Cowper, I am committed to advocating for our local business, industries and families to provide the infrastructure and services that we deserve in regional and rural Australia."
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