Cowboys star backs calls for all night games
KYLE Feldt has called on the NRL to deliver games to Queensland Country Bank Stadium early in the season as the governing body works on the foundations of a draw for the remainder of 2020.
The NRL has only mapped out the first two weeks of the season, with opportunity to squeeze more games in at the $293.5 million facility at the start of the year.
The Cowboys only played one game in the stadium before the COVID-19 shutdown kicked in, going down in a tough loss to rivals Brisbane in the Queensland Derby.
It was that loss which has lit the fire in the Cowboys belly, and one reason Feldt is keen to get back into the stadiums state of the art dressing rooms sooner rather than later.
"With only one game at our new stadium we're hoping to get a couple of games up here at the start and get a feel for the stadium," Feldt said.
"I think the way we started the year, especially at our new home, we really want to make it a fortress and we didn't go about that.
"It's not really much of a difference (playing in the afternoon), we're all professionals up here. I think Parry hit the nail on the head with time to recover from such a big flight.
"We need time to recover but I think the NRL is pretty smart about those decisions."
The Cowboys have yet to book in travel arrange, arrangements for the season, but with the highest travel toll in the league this season - following the Warriors arrival in New South Wales - the club is hopeful of locking in a game plan as soon as possible.
The Cowboys are expected to only travel on game day on chartered flights, which will raise alarm bells for sides who embark on longer routes.
Cowboys director of football Peter Parr last week asked the NRL to consider the club for only night-time games, as opposed to afternoon matches where time could be against the Townsville-based unit.
Feldt believed this was a fair enough request, given they would need time to prepare at the game-day venue and be sufficiently prepared for the ensuing clash.
Should such a scenario take shape, the 28-year-old said the loss of afternoon fixtures would not have an impact on the way the team performed.
Isolation training had begun to wear thin on Feldt, so last week's return to Cowboys HQ was met with euphoria.
Now it feels like rugby league - back around his teammates and working towards a 2020 title push with a greater purpose.
Feldt said the lay-off could eventuate in a higher standard of football when the season resumes, as players across the competition wait in anticipation to get back on the field.
As for the imminent return of full contact training, that is perhaps one area the flyer is happy to wait for.
"I really missed the camaraderie - it's been a bit tough not coming into training every day and seeing the boys," Feldt said.
"I think that's going to be the best part about this whole isolation stuff - getting back into footy is something we've all been working for, so come round three we'll be chomping at the bit.
"I think everyone is pretty happy we're not doing full contact yet … I know we enjoy it in a game but in training we don't want to hurt each - being a winger I don't like it all."