If it were not already hard enough to be a Gold Coast Sun, the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership competition will have the Queensland side on the road much of the first 10 weeks of the season.
The Suns will have their bye in Round 10, but first, of their first nine games, only their first Round game with the North Melbourne Kangaroos will bounce at Metricon Stadium in Carrara.
After that, it is pack those bags and fly to play in Melbourne, Perth, (twice), back to The Gabba, down to the Adelaide Oval for the Crows, back to Melbourne for the Western Bulldogs ,The Gabba again for the for the Melbourne Demons and finally, to China for a match with the Port Adelaide Power.
After the season, which for the Suns, presumably ends on Friday, August 24 when they play the Geelong Cats, the players should have accumulated sufficient frequent flyer miles to go just about anywhere they could possibly want to go.
Young midfielder/forward Ben Ainsworth, at 19 years of age and entering his second season in the AFL with the Suns, spent some time with the Aussie national cricket side to get some tips on how to deal with the heavy travel schedule him and his teammates face.
The cricketers told him not to be intimidated by all the travel, as it is a reality of life for Australia’s national cricket team.
“We’ve wrapped our heads around that. We’ve got to adapt,” Ainsworth told AFL.com.au.”They’re (cricketers) not home much. Mitchell Starc was in his bed for 22 days out of 365 last year.We just have to adapt and take a leaf out of their book and it’s not so hard.”
The Suns are being sent packing in order to make room for the 2018 Commonwealth Games being hosted by Gold Coast. By the time they get back from their journey, almost half of the 2018 AFL season will have been played before they get the home ground for a June 2 game against the Geelong Cats.
The Suns will by memory know the phrase, “Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright and locked position.”