Port midfield preparing for the ultimate challenge against the Demons.

Port Adelaide’s midfield is poised to undergo the ultimate test in the AFL, according to coach Ken Hinkley.

Hinkley regards Melbourne’s on-ball unit as the most formidable in the league, ahead of their clash with the Demons at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge, with top-tier midfielders facing off against each other,” he told reporters on Friday.

“Melbourne boasts one of the strongest midfield combinations, considering the caliber of players like (Christian) Petracca, (Clayton) Oliver, (Jack) Viney, (Tom) Sparrow, and Max (Gawn) … it’s a formidable group we’re up against.”

Hinkley expects to gain insights into the progress of his talented midfielders, including captain Connor Rozee, vice-captain Zak Butters, Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines, and ruck recruit Ivan Soldo.

He also hopes to commemorate another significant milestone, comparable in importance to Travis Boak’s 350th game last week.

Todd Marshall, a Power forward, will reach his 100th AFL game in his eighth season. Marshall, hailing from Deniliquin in NSW, was drafted from the Murray Bushrangers with pick 16 in the 2016 national draft.

Reflecting on Marshall’s journey, which included the loss of both his parents, Hinkley expressed admiration for his resilience.

“I can’t help but compare it to Travis’ milestone last week because I’ve been closely involved in Todd’s story,” Hinkley said.

“I’m incredibly pleased for him, but it’s just a part of his journey. He’s starting to fulfill his potential at AFL level.”

As Melbourne will be without injured key defender Steven May, Viney will mark his 200th AFL game.

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