If ever there was a success story in the development of a club in Ulster domestic rugby, then you need go no further than Ballymacarn Park just outside the market town of Ballynahinch.
The Co Down club’s progress since its formation in 1954 has been remarkable.
On Saturday they begin a new chapter in their history, as well as club rugby in Ireland, as the first Ulster club to compete in Division 1A since the All Ireland League was reformed in 2009.
The challenge facing Ballynahinch should not be underestimated as they face some long travels South against some club sides with strong pedigrees.
But the Hinch are not without their own pedigree and finishing ahead of UCD in Division 1B last season was no mean feat.
There will be no easy games for Derek Suffern and his troops this term and while the Co Down club want to follow in the footsteps of their country cousins, Dungannon and Ballymena by going on to become All Ireland champions, it may be a case of consolidation in the first term.
However, the element of surprise could work in the Hinch’s favour as they will be regarded as an unknown quantity on some pastures.
Not the case on Saturday afternoon, however, the visitors to Ballymacarn Park are Cork Constitution.
The clubs already have a history with Ballynahinch defeating the Munster club 17-6 in the All Ireland Senior Cup final in 2009.
That season proved to be the pinnacle to date for the club as they completed the ‘Grand Slam’ of club rugby.
Not only did they win the All Ireland Senior Cup, but they won the Division Two championship and promotion to Division 1B.
On their home front they completed the domestic double in winning the Stevenson Shield (Ulster Senior League) and First Trust Ulster Senior Cup.
It was a fine achievement for a club which had just reached senior status in 1995.
However, Ballynahinch have also tasted the other side of the coin.
They were actually relegated from Divison 1B the season after that and they lost to Cork Con in the first round of the All Ireland Senior Cup - and in their own back yard.
Those factors will ensure the Ballynahinch squad keep their feet on the ground and do not get carried away by the ‘top club in Ulster’ line currently doing its rounds on the social media.
However, the Co Down club also have nothing to fear and are right to relish the challenge ahead.
Coach Derek Suffern said: “Of course we are looking forward to the season ahead, the guys have worked hard to get us where we are.
“We certainly do not fear the challenge ahead, we will embrace it and we are certainly determined not to be propping up the table.
“Certainly the challenge of facing Cork Con in the first game at home is perfect for us to set out stall out.
“There is an excitment about the club this week. We have been building over the past few weeks to this day and while the defeat to Belfast Harlequins was not ideal preparation, the players realise the responsibilities they have.
“That loss (in the Ulster Senior League) may just be the wake-up call they needed,” he added.
Up front, Ulster’s Paddy McAllister and Kyle McCall have been released to play so that should give an edge at scrumtime.