Feet finally back on New Zealand soil, the magnitude of their achievement has started to sink in for the national under-17 women's football team.
The history-making side were greeted by family and friends after touching down shortly after dawn on Tuesday, the glow of their World Cup bronze medals lighting up an otherwise miserable morning.
Before parting ways, arms linked in a tight circle after arriving home from Uruguay, the team gathered for one final celebratory chant.
It was a reflection of a tight team bond that had been so obvious as they held off Canada on Sunday to clinch their country's first World Cup bronze medal.
According to midfielder Maya Hahn, it had been that togetherness which had been so crucial to their history-making performance.
"We all feel comfortable with each other and get along well.
"Then on the field we are super supportive, we're one team. It's not the bench and the starters, the bench are supporting the starters throughout.
"Everyone is on board with the concepts and the fact we have support for each other and we're willing to give 100 per cent all the time.
"That's definitely the underlying reason we have got so far."
The team have rightly earned plenty of plaudits for their outstanding efforts over the past few weeks, both in Uruguay and back in New Zealand.
Hahn said all the adulation was still taking some getting used to.
"It's pretty surreal. We've been away for over a month now, so it's pretty crazy.
"It's nice to hear the accent again and the positive reception has been unreal. It was definitely not expected, especially because it was such a surprising result for us. But yea, it's super cool."
Just reaching the semifinals well exceeded their initial goal to simply get out of their pool.
Forward Maggie Jenkins was one of two team members to already have played for the senior national women's side.
She said what it meant to have a bronze medal hanging from her neck could not be under-stated, while coach Leon Birnie added the impact of their achievements was already being felt.
"The amount of emails "I've had from people I've met or even not met, just saying 'my daughter now wants to be like [striker] Kelli Brown and scoring outside the box', or 'we are definitely playing football next year'.
"It's been incredible, so touching, and it's really good to see."
While he's still in celebration mode for now, Birnie believed it was key football in this country capitalised on his team's success.
After a troubled period which included the resignation of the senior women's team coach, he hoped this could be a launching pad to take New Zealand football back to brighter times.
"You've got some great role models here that are spread right across the country.
"Utilise those. Utilise them next year when junior football starts, get them down to junior football day and registration day
"Get their profile out there and inspire the next group of players or the younger players to come in.
"That's the important part we need to do now. Not just 'it ends here', carry that momentum on."
As for his own players, Birnie said success at the under-20 World Cup and beyond is well within their reach.
Hahn already has a scholarship locked in at the University of Oregon, while star goalkeeper Anna Leat was returning home via America with the hope of joining her team-mate in a US collegiate system.
Youngest team member Macey Fraser knew exactly what this success meant for every player in their squad.
"Honestly I think it's inspired the whole team.
"We never thought a little country like New Zealand would place in the top three at a World Cup.
"It's a big part of the next things that will come for us."
A much-needed reason for New Zealand football fans to once again be looking forward with optimism.