IN-form St Kilda ruckman Rowan Marshall says the Saints will embrace hub life after the AFL on Friday announced all 10 Victorian teams would leave the state temporarily amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
St Kilda will be based in Noosa along with Carlton. Western Bulldogs, Essendon, Richmond and North Melbourne will call Gold Coast home.
New South Wales and Western Australia will also become hubs.
The Saints, who accounted for Carlton on Thursday night, will play Fremantle at Metricon Stadium next Saturday and Adelaide on a Monday night at Adelaide Oval in round seven.
Marshall - one of the Saints' best against the Blues with 19 disposals including seven clearances playing as their sole ruckman - said he was eager to visit Noosa for the first time.
"I am pretty excited. Everyone is going to be different (in how they feel about it) I suppose but I am single and haven't got a girlfriend or anything so I am looking forward to getting away with the boys and playing a bit of golf," the Portland export told The Standard.
Marshall said the lead-up to the AFL decision had been "a whirlwind".
"I'd heard three or four different places the past three or four days," he said.
"We got confirmation today about lunchtime I think, it was when it came out in the media."
St Kilda, which brought in a swag of off-season recruits including Richmond premiership forward Dan Butler and Fremantle speedster Bradley Hill, wants to embrace the unique situation.
"We're a pretty close-knit group and have a young core group of players coming through between the age bracket of 20 and 25, so I think it will be really good to spend that time away from home and get to know a bit more about everyone and really bond as a team," Marshall said.
St Kilda has played its first five matches in Melbourne without crowds.
Spectators will walk through the turnstiles at their next two matches and any interstate matches they play beyond that.
Marshall, 24, said he'd missed playing in front of a live audience.
"I'd almost prefer to play in the Perth stadium in front of 60,000 supporters rather than no crowd at all," he said.
"Running out to a full stadium gets you up and about. We've had to rely on creating our own energy and vibe which I think we've been doing well and have got used to the last couple of weeks but it's just not the same without crowds."
The GWV Rebels graduate said the one benefit of a crowd-free stadium was the ability to communicate with teammates.
"Say if you've got 30,000 or 40,000 people there, you can't really hear out on the ground, so it's actually been a bit better being able to set up defensively and your structures," Marshall said.
Marshall, a 38-gamer, is in his fourth season at Moorabbin after arriving at the Saints as a mature-age rookie.
The 201-centimetre ruck-forward has been compared to Collingwood's All-Australian Brodie Grundy and also plays a similar role to Melbourne captain Max Gawn.
"Obviously they are the two elite ruckmen of the competition and I think having another pre-season under my belt has been really beneficial," he said of his progression.
"I've been able to get stronger and build a bit more of a tank so that's been helpful and with these shortened (16 minutes plus time-on) quarters, you've got to run a bit more at high intensity.
"That's what I have been working on and hopefully it starts to pay off down the track."
St Kilda has a 3-2 win-loss record under new coach Brett Ratten.