St Kilda are embracing the upside of the re-shuffled AFL round five fixture after being thrust into prime-time for the first time this season, now taking on Carlton on Thursday night.
Due to altered Queensland government exemptions, their round five clash has been brought forward from Saturday afternoon at the MCG to Thursday night at Marvel Stadium.
The five-day turnaround for both teams may affect their line-up with the fitness deadline brought forward for Saints captain Jarryn Geary, who has missed their past two matches with a hamstring injury.
Zak Jones is in doubt after suffering a hamstring complaint in their upset win over Richmond last round while Jade Gresham also finished with an eye injury.
St Kilda midfielder Jack Billings says his team had quickly adjusted their mindset to playing Thursday and saw it as a “great opportunity”.
Carlton are also in good form after hanging on for a two-point win over Geelong on Saturday night.
“I’ve never played on a Thursday night and I don’t think many of the guys have so it’s a great opportunity for our group and also for the footy club so it’s really exciting,” Billings said.
“Hopefully we can play some good footy.”
He said that that the shift under the roof of Marvel would suit his fleet-footed team, with the win over the Tigers their second of the season at the venue.
“It’s our home ground so we play there the majority of the season and the way we play at the moment is suited to the ground, especially with some of the players we’ve got now in the side,” Billings said.
While they delivered an impressive performance against the premiers, Billings said they only had to rewind one round when they were humbled by Collingwood for a reminder they still had work to do.
“When Ratts (coach Brett Ratten) came in he was pretty big on improving the way we use the ball and giving ourselves more opportunities to score and at the moment we’ve been able to do that but the week before against Collingwood, we were down in that space.
“The challenge is to show up each week and be consistent.”