Cats coach says AFL trip a challenge

Geelong coach Chris Scott says his AFL team's travel schedule to play Port Adelaide on Thursday night is challenging.

Cats head coach CHRIS SCOTT.
Cats head coach CHRIS SCOTT. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Geelong coach Chris Scott says it's futile pretending the away trip to play Port Adelaide in Thursday night's AFL blockbuster is anything but challenging.

South Australian health officials granted Geelong an exemption to enter the state, which has closed its borders to Victoria because of COVID-19.

Players and staffers depart Geelong on Thursday morning, fly to Adelaide, be tested for the coronavirus before being taken by bus directly to Adelaide Oval.

The Cats will wait for about three hours at Adelaide Oval's indoor cricket nets for their test results.

"There's no point trying to kid yourself, or kid the players, that this is normal - we know it's not," Scott said.

"But we do have a bit of experience with a different environment over the last 18 months and ... our club has embraced that. And that is the attitude we're taking to this as well.

"Just acknowledge that the challenge is real and there are some things that are going to be different.

"We need to make sure we have got our head around those things and prepare for them."

Geelong players and staffers spent the week in partial quarantine, barred from leaving their homes for any reason except training.

"We're not feeling sorry for ourselves," Scott said.

"It's really easy to contrast what we're doing with some other people in Melbourne in particular and feel a bit better about yourself and feel a bit more sympathy for them."

Scott's squad has been bolstered by the return of four key players from injury - Brownlow medallist and three-time club champion Patrick Dangerfield, dual club champion Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan and Mark O'Connor.

The quartet replace last start's medical sub Jordan Clark and Max Holmes, Quinton Narkle, Rhys Stanley and Zach Guthrie, who were all dropped.

Port summoned Boyd Woodcock to replace Orazio Fantasia (knee) but Woodcock will be the home side's medical substitute.