Lions coach lauds hyped Ashcroft ahead of AFL debut

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has described Will Ashcroft as the most level-headed youngster he's met on the eve of the highly touted draftee's AFL debut.

And Fagan says any attempt by Port Adelaide to physically target Ashcroft, the No.2 pick at last year's draft as a Lions father-son selection, will be futile.

Ashcroft, the son of Brisbane great Marcus Ashcroft, will debut in Saturday's twilight clash against the Power at Adelaide Oval.

"For all the hype that has gone on around him, he's the most down to earth, level-headed young man I have ever met," Fagan told reporters on Friday.

"So he will just take his transition into AFL footy in his stride.

"He played well in all of our intraclub games and so it was always going to be interesting to see how he goes against real opposition - and he has played just as well.

"He lives well with his reputation and the bottom line with him is he's a level-headed lad who works really hard at his football."

Asked if he expected Port to target the 18-year-old, Fagan replied: "That's all part of AFL footy.

"He is not the only one they will come after but I think what we have seen in the pre-season is it doesn't work, so good luck to them."

Prized recruits Josh Dunkley and Jack Gunston will make their club debuts after transferring from the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn respectively.

But the premiership fancies will be without captain Dayne Zorko (hamstring) against a Port side missing their ex-skipper Travis Boak (fractured rib).

"When we had initial scans when we were in Perth, Trav's scans showed up quite clear," Power coach Ken Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

"But the reality is ... the fractures can appear as they settle down - it seems a bit silly but that is what happened and he's got a slight crack in a rib."

Port missed last year's playoffs after being beaten preliminary finalists the previous two seasons.

And Hinkley said he wasn't rattled by two practice-game losses in Perth to West Coast and Fremantle.

"Some of the feedback we got wasn't great but we also got a lot of feedback through our pre-season which was really good and we're really positive about the way our pre-season went," he said.