If there is a more annoying voice than the one on google maps spitting out directions every 200 metres, then I have yet to hear it.
Although there was that time at Adelaide Oval, high up in the stands against Port Adelaide, when there was a shrill, high-pitched, expletive-laden outburst from a lady who appeared to be the antithesis of the person who would be delivering such a barrage.
Today, as a group of us we drove in a minivan to our main training session at Metricon Stadium, I was reminded of that voice as we hung a right towards the entry to the precinct.
On Metricon 3, the oval West Coast used for scrimmage against Brisbane on Saturday morning, was a group of talented young men in grey t-shirts running around. At closer inspection they were Port Adelaide players.
We continued on our journey, rounded the bend past the Gold Coast Suns facility, and there, on Metricon 2, were the Adelaide Crows dusting off the after-effects of a tough encounter against the Suns last weekend.
It was then that doubts flooded my mind. Are we really on the Goldy?
With that, out came the phone, tap on google maps. Sure enough, we were in the right place; according to the annoying tone emanating from my phone we were in Carrara.
So, here we are. Port Adelaide, Adelaide and West Coast all on the Gold Coast, all training at the Metricon complex getting ready to play for AFL premiership points.
It just gets weirder and weirder. I really wonder what future generations will make of this madness.
The Eagles have booked the main oval, where we will play Port on Saturday. No doubt there were scouts, less surprised than I, sneaking a look at Power training just a hundred metres away.
We pass through the main gates and pull up, feeling like it’s our home ground. We are now familiar with this place, we know the lay out.
We already knew this training session would be different because the AFL had 24 hours earlier tweaked the guidelines. Our main session usually consists of an element of match simulation and competitive work.
But in the wake of the Conor McKenna COVID-19 episode at Essendon, all of that changed this week. Doubtless the bigger picture in Melbourne, with a second wave of positive cases, was a more significant trigger that now legislates against any physical contact at training.
It will be that way for the next month. Bruise-free training. The boys will be fresh, but they will be far from conditioned for the rigours of Australian football.
As we strode into the venue it was very different too.
Usually a club would set up base in the visiting rooms, leave any gear there that may not be required until match day and lock it away after training. Not this time.
We weren’t permitted into the rooms. Head property man Clint “Teddy” Roberts draped training guernseys over the fence; Powerade eskies dotted the boundary line, accompanied by players’ back packs.
They arrived at training ready for action. And that action occurred against the backdrop of cleaning staff wandering through the stands, wiping down seats and bench tops.
It’s not unusual to see stadium staff about the place, but normally they would be ground staff or broadcast crews, sorting out the kilometres of cables they need to take the game back to living rooms around the country.
This time they wore face masks and gloves as they sanitised a venue that has seen plenty of action already – and now with two Adelaide clubs joining the hub, albeit a few kms down the road from Royal Pines Resort, it will get an even more rigorous workover.