A string of AFL captains will watch on from the sidelines this weekend as the NAB Challenge kicks off without a host of stars.
The Eagles will take less than half of their 2015 grand final side to play Adelaide, with their five-man leadership group all spared the trip to South Australia.
Captain Shannon Hurn, Mark LeCras, Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey, Eric Mackenzie, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Matt Priddis have been given the weekend off.
A one-sided match looms at Unley Oval with the Crows naming their best players, along with potential Crows debutants Paul Seedsman and Troy Menzel.
The Eagles have omitted 1,000 AFL games worth of experience from their teams – as the Power have also done.
Skipper Travis Boak and his lieutenants Brad Ebert and Matthew Lobbe are staying at Alberton, as are Robbie Gray, Hamish Hartlett, Jay Schulz and Justin Westhoff.
Opponents Sydney will have an unfamiliar face as coach – co-captain Jarrad McVeigh – but Lance Franklin leads a strong Swans line-up.
Co-captain Kieren Jack will miss, as will Ted Richards, but Franklin, Luke Parker and new signing Michael Talia will play.
As teams taper towards the season proper, key names have been held back in St Kilda’s match with North Melbourne in Wangaratta.
Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna and David Armitage won’t play, with Jack Newnes to captain the Saints.
Despite their absence, St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said the emerging side wouldn’t be holding back on Saturday.
“Winning is part of our preparation, so certainly our focus is to go out and be as competitive as we can, looking to win games of footy,” Richardson said.
The Kangaroos won’t field six players from their preliminary final defeat last year, or Daniel Wells, despite the veteran tearing up an intra-club contest last week.
North football boss Cameron Joyce said the approach came from the physios.
“He’s had a seamless preparation and we’re really happy with how he’s progressing,” Joyce said.
“We initially thought he’d play this week, but the fitness and conditioning staff would prefer to give him two games in a row … to put in more strength and conditioning work in the lead up to round one.”
Wells battled a serious Achilles injury in 2015 and did not play any senior football after round two.
Against Brisbane, Tom Lynch will captain a Gold Coast side without Gary Ablett, David Swallow or Jaeger O’Meara.