Port Adelaide's top draft pick in last year's draft has been tipped by teammates to make his debut in Round 1. Jarman Impey's speed and skills are turning heads at the Power.
Brad Ebert tries to break the tackle from Travis Boak. Picture: Sarah Reed. Source: News Limited
PORT Adelaide is expected to approach the NAB Challenge in a similar manner to the AFL's more seasoned outfits this year.
Last year the Power rode the momentum of a sparkling preseason campaign into a 5-0 start to the minor round.
A serious approach to the summer games - which included wins against St Kilda, Melbourne, West Coast and Sydney - gave new coach Ken Hinkley as much time as possible to instil a game plan with his senior players and gave hope to an ailing supporter base.
But after climbing to eighth on the ladder last season Port's priorities are different this time around.
There are a host of players who need - and deserve - game time after another big summer on the track, including developing duo Ben Newton and Mason Shaw, recruits Jared Polec and Matt White and a group of new draftees headed by Jarman Impey.
Port's first hit out is an internal trial against the Magpies on Saturday, February 8, followed by NAB Challenge fixtures against Adelaide (February 16) and Essendon (February 25).
Midfielder Brad Ebert indicated a host of inexperienced players would be given opportunities in the early games.
"For the younger guys it gives them a chance to showcase what they've got and gives them a taste of AFL football," Ebert said.
"The first couple (of games) guys might be coming off and on the bench but by the last couple you're really putting your strongest side out there and (aiming to) play the way we want to play all season."
Ebert talked up a number of youngsters who have impressed this preseason and said their development had increased the competitiveness at training.
"A lot of the young boys are pushing this time of year and working really hard," he said.
"You see guys like Benny Newton and Mason Shaw - guys that have been playing for a couple of years that are really starting to step up.
"Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard are hopefully taking their game to another level ... it's exciting times.
"Jarman's come in and stepped up right away.
"Even in Dubai there were a couple of training sessions where he dodged a couple of blokes and took off and you thought 'this guy has got some skills'.
"I'm sure he'll get a run in the NAB Cup and then you never know."