Port newcomers to face Melbourne AFL heat

Steve Larkin
Port assistant Michael Voss expects big things from six debutants

Port Adelaide is bullish about its fresh six-pack surviving an AFL baptism of fire against finals fancy Melbourne.

The Power will give six players their debut for the club in Saturday's MCG encounter and assistant coach Michael Voss is confident they'll handle the heat.

"We promised a different look about us in 2019 and that goes some to say how committed we are to ensure it happens, not just in the way we want to play but the personnel we have" Voss told reporters on Friday.

Recruits Scott Lycett (ex-West Coast) and Ryan Burton (ex-Hawthon) will debut for the Power against the Demons.

They will be joined by a trio of new draftees in Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, who will play their first AFL games, as will third-year player Willem Drew.

Voss conceded there was a risk the newcomers may become overawed.

"You can probably ask any player in the AFL and they're always at risk of that," he said.

"But we don't form the view on one particular day, we form a view over pre-season.

"The mental aptitude to be able to play the game is obviously a critical factor and they handle the game really well - if anything we think they will thrive.

"They can expect an increase in intensity but we have seen enough from them over the pre-season to be fairly well educated that they will handle it pretty well."

The Demons will also have two new faces.

Marty Hore, a dual VFL best and fairest winner at Collingwood, will debut alongside Corey Wagner, who was cut by North Melbourne following the 2017 season after playing eight AFL games.

Melbourne is widely expected to challenge for this year's premiership after its 2018 run ended with defeat in a preliminary final.

"They play a really strong brand of footy, clearly they bring a real contested element to the game which is going to test us," Voss said.

"We have to match in that part of the game.

"They are certainly being talked about as a top-four side so playing round one, MCG, against Melbourne ... it's a really big task for us."