GOLD Coast will play the first standalone game of its 10-season history on Thursday night when it hosts the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium. 

And the Suns are excited. 

ROUND EIGHT Check out the full fixture

In 205 games as a club they've never played on either a Thursday night or Friday night – until now. 

Football manager Jon Haines concedes the circumstances of the season make it a little different to most years, but said it was a great nod for the club and its fans. 

"It's exciting," Haines said. 

"I think historically the Thursday and Friday night standalone fixtures have been a reward for effort and reward for performances, but we also acknowledge this is an unusual year. 

"They're looking to compress the fixture … we're respectful of the opportunity, we're grateful for it and we can't wait for it." 

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Whatever the overriding reason, the Suns-Bulldogs match-up is worthy of a prime slot. 

Both teams are in the top eight with 4-3 records, both fresh off exciting wins and both ranked in the top seven for scoring. 

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"I think that term exciting has been thrown around a bit," Haines said. 

"We certainly feel like we've got some exciting players and play a brand of football that our fans will be excited about." 

Izak Rankine has played two games only but already appears made for the spotlight, while midfielder Lachie Weller and second-year forward Ben King are also turning heads.

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Gold Coast is coming off the first five-day break in its history – something it might get more practice at in the near future – and have adjusted training accordingly. 

They will do the main session 48 hours before bounce-down and also take the unusual step of a light training run, in groups, on the morning of the match. 

This is something the Suns have done for away matches, but never at home.