RUGBY league convert Karmichael Hunt is a near certainty to play his first AFL game for Gold Coast this week and will be in the side because of ability, not publicity.
The Suns play their first match against Carlton on Saturday night and coach Guy McKenna said Hunt had done everything possible to push for selection.
"He is being picked on his merits. He has been our third-best defender (in the pre-season). He's got to play. Is he going to continue to learn the game? Of course he is," McKenna said.
"But I watched a lot of footy on the weekend and there are some boys out there making some silly and tired mistakes as well. Is K going to do the same? Of course he is."
McKenna issued a warning for any opposition players once Hunt finds his feet at AFL level and implements some of the hardness that defined his rugby league career.
"He gets in that position where you think he is going to split a bloke in half. He chooses not to do it because he doesn't know whether he can or can't do it at the moment," McKenna said.
"I said, 'Mate, go out and make mistakes. If you give away a free kick there is probably every chance the bloke won't be able to get up and take it anyway. But in a fair way so you don't get reported or anything silly, just hit him. I want to see you hit someone'.
"He does it off one or two steps when he feels it's right there but with about a three or four metre step he could really hurt someone.
"Probably about round four or five, I don't know who we're playing around then but they might be in a bit of trouble because I reckon he might be a bit more comfortable in himself. He will have played a few games and will know what he can do and he'll cut himself a bit loose. It will be frightening when that happens, that's for sure."
McKenna said he would encourage his young side to embrace the hype and excitement that comes with a club's first 'real' game, but he said the last two days before game day would be business as usual.
"The longer you don't talk about something the bigger it becomes and starts eating away at the boys' psyche. Embrace it and talk about it, hopefully a lot of their nervous energy can go away before the game," he said.
"Thursday we are going to get the parents up, congratulate the debutants and go through all that on Thursday. We don't want to do it Friday or before the game. We will do that as best we can without upsetting the boys' chances of performing at their best."