WESTERN Bulldogs draftee Mitch Honeychurch will make his much-anticipated debut on Sunday when his side faces Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
The Bulldogs pick No.60 in last year's NAB AFL Draft has consistently been one of the club's best performers in the VFL for Footscray this season, and has finally been rewarded.
"We're looking forward to Mitch playing," coach Brendan McCartney said on Thursday morning.
"We don't expect anything grand from him but we're confident we've found a really good long-term player.
"He's competitive, he's a goal kicker. He just plays footy with a great intensity.
"I rang him on the way home (on Wednesday) at about 5:30.
"His dad walked in as I was speaking to him and he couldn't wait to tell him so that's some of the good side of footy."
Former Giants' defender Sam Darley will also play his first game for the Bulldogs after being traded at the end of last season.
Meanwhile McCartney confirmed skipper Ryan Griffen (back spasms) and defender Jordan Roughead (shoulder) would not be available to play the Demons.
Griffen's injury is unrelated to the back issues he battled during the pre-season with the club optimistic the skipper will be fit to play the following week against Geelong.
No timeframe has been set for Roughead, while forward Jarrad Grant will need to pass a concussion test on Thursday to prove his fitness for Sunday's game.But McCartney said the club would probably err on the side of caution with concussion injuries, meaning Grant would likely be ruled out for a week.