GWS star Josh Kelly is ready for another physical clash with AFL rivals Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, where the expansion club have an ideal chance to prove that last week’s shock loss was an aberration.
The bright lights of Friday night football have arguably never been brighter, with the end of the COVID-19 shutdown delivering some impressive TV ratings.
The round-three game is just the sixth time that the Giants have played in the league’s most coveted timeslot.
“It’s really exciting for us. Friday night footy is heightened by the fact that we don’t have crowds at the moment, so all eyes will be on screens and that’s a great opportunity for us,” Kelly told AAP.
“Hopefully we can prove to the AFL world that we’re going to be a really competitive team this year.
“Last week (a shock loss to North Melbourne) was a good wake-up call.
“The focus is on us playing our football this week, being physical and moving the footy with a bit of flair.”
Kelly, who starred in the Giants’ heated elimination final against the Bulldogs in 2019, has no doubt that “it’s going to be on” when the rivalry resumes.
“It’s going to be a tough, hard game of footy. I fully expect it to be pretty physical,” the midfielder said.
“They always seem to be physical contests.
“This has become a genuine rivalry – through some fierce contests and great games – and something we look forward to each season.”
GWS will be without injured forward Toby Greene, who has repeatedly proven the Bulldogs’ chief antagonist in recent clashes.
Kelly suggested game-day travel, one of many changes the AFL has instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic, would be a challenge but not an excuse for his club.
“We understand it’s different … it’s been a different year and we owe a lot to the game. Whatever we need to do to play footy, we’re always going to do it,” he said.
“We’ve had a little bit of a chat about it. Just making sure that individually you know what your best preparation looks like … make sure you’re mentally on for the game.”