Stuck in a hub at the start of the most bizarre AFL season on record, Albany’s Jeremy McGovern has some time on his hands. The West Coast Eagles champion is taking the opportunity to keep his home town in the loop from his new digs on the Gold Coast. Today, in Jezza’s Journal, he discusses preparations for round two and what the team’s resort hub is like. The wait is almost over and I can’t wait to be back out having a proper kick. It has been a challenging time for so many people over the last couple of months but here we are, ready to face Gold Coast in our new “home” for the next few weeks, and I look forward to providing some insight into what our time on the road looks like. Monday was a massive day. I was up early with the kids to try and get as much time in with them as possible and then off to training at the club, still in our groups of eight. We had to get dropped off at training, say our goodbyes, and then pack our bags before we were off to the airport. The plane was great. We got a bit more space to ourselves. The flight was a bit over four hours and we landed at 8.30pm. First task was to get settled in. We went straight into the meals room, then got debriefed and met all of the officials. We are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together, so the meals room will be a well-visited area. My first impression is it’s a beautiful resort and the facilities are great, but dragging our bags out of the back of a truck reminds me of my younger days. I went straight into unpacking mode to try to make it feel like home as much as possible. On Tuesday we had COVID-19 testing, more debriefs on the facilities and how it all operates, and where our meeting rooms are, access to gyms and pools and the like. It was pretty much free time after that. Most of the boys went to Woolies and Coles to get a few snacks, and I went for a drive to have a quick look at the beach and imagined myself surfing if the AFL let us. Wednesday is our main session and we are trying to keep it similar to back home. We have our big training hit-out, weights, meetings, opposition analysis, and recovery, massage — all of that is crammed in, and that frees up Thursday, when our only commitment is getting tested again. Friday is the captain’s run, we call it. Boots (Luke Shuey) runs that session. It’s a bit lighter, a few drills together, and then we get a bit more specific. JK is doing goal kicking, the mids and rucks are doing some tap work, and us backs are working on our craft. Saturday is game day. You are left to do what you want within our guidelines and the boys normally like to go out for breakfast, which we can’t, so I’d imagine there will be a lot of chilling out here. Metricon Stadium is a stone’s throw away, so I’m not sure if we will walk or bus there but we normally get there a minimum hour-and-a-half before the game. Simmo is very flexible, and for me an hour is plenty to get ready. I don’t have any strapping so it’s a bit of a rub, listen to some music and me and Bunga usually do some ground balls, a bit of marking as we have a similar routine. I still do my own thing, but in the last year or so I try and keep a gauge on the boys, make sure we are switched on — especially if we have any first or second-gamers — and keep the boys focused. I’d say round one was the weirdest game I’ve prepared for, but this one has definitely taken the cake. We’ve had a lot going through our heads but the club has been great. When you first get here it gets a bit exciting, you are at a beautiful resort with your mates, but you’ve got to remind yourself we are not on holidays and we have a job to do. It’s the honeymoon period for sure, but we are going to have to be here for the next four, five weeks so we have to get used to that. I can’t wait for Saturday to come around. It will be nice to just be out on the ground with premiership points up for grabs.