It’s been a frenetic 24 hours for the Gold Coast SUNS as the club was parachuted into Melbourne overnight due to the start of South East Queensland’s three-day lockdown.
Earlier this week the SUNS had been preparing to host Richmond at Metricon Stadium in Round 16, but the constantly evolving COVID climate threw those plans into disarray.
Speaking on SEN today, SUNS CEO Mark Evans said the discussions had moved swiftly on Tuesday morning as the AFL decided to move the Queensland and Western Australian teams to Victoria.
“It was a bit surreal and has happened to us a couple of times over the journey,” Evans said.
“From phone calls at 7am when we were just checking that everybody was ready to go if we had to, almost thinking about it as something that might be hours or days away, the next phone call was there’s a bus picking you up in two hours time, you’re going to Brisbane and flying to Melbourne.
“That was a mad scramble but we had warned the players the day before and asked them to pack so that probably helped things a little.”
As a result of the restrictions in South East Queensland which came into effect overnight, the match at Metricon Stadium has now been shifted to Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
The timeslot remains the same, with the club taking on Richmond at 7:20pm on Thursday night.
Looking ahead, Evans said the outlook remained uncertain as the SUNS were originally fixtured to play GWS in Round 17 at GIANTS Stadium.
“With so many teams in Victoria I think you are going to have to find as many games as you can at the MCG, Marvel, GMHBA and Ballarat certainly looms as another option,” Evans said.
“I think we just tell our guys to be prepared for whatever.
“There is the possibility of heading back to Queensland if the lockdown lifts and Victoria allows that passage.
“But from our point of view we’re probably better off putting into people’s minds to expect to be here for the Giants game and if something changes in the middle then we’ll deal with that.”
Team announcement for the match against Richmond is at 6:20pm tonight.