Miles Bergman and Ivan Soldo during the round five match between Port Adelaide and Fremantle at Adelaide Oval, April 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

INFLUENTIAL Port Adelaide ruck recruit Ivan Soldo has brushed off fitness doubts to declare himself a certain starter against Collingwood.

Soldo didn't complete training on Wednesday as Port prepares for Saturday's encounter against the reigning premiers at the MCG.

The former Richmond ruck copped a knock, and also a black eye, in Port's three-point escape win over Fremantle last Saturday night.

"It was a pretty tough game on the weekend," Soldo said on Wednesday.


"And I copped a knock, so I was just to the side (at training) which is nice, a bit of a break for me which is good."

Five games into his stint at Alberton, Soldo's recruitment is paying Port handsome dividends.

Granted No.1 ruck status after sitting behind Tigers skipper Toby Nankervis, Soldo is averaging a near career-high 31 hitouts and career-high 11.4 disposals.

"There's definitely parts of my game I always want to get better at," he said.


"But with the team doing so well and absolutely dominating when they need to, it's hard not to walk off the track feeling so confident with the boys.

"It's good to get the faith from the coaches as well and the mids have been so supportive of me as well.

"I had a great time at Richmond, but coming in here with fresh eyes and a lot of faith in the coaching as well has been great."

Soldo's early impact has coincided with Port's feted young on-ball brigade hitting their straps as the Power bank four wins from five games.

Kane Farrell celebrates with Ivan Soldo during the round one match between Port Adelaide and West Coast at Adelaide Oval, March 17, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

New captain Connor Rozee and vice-captain Zak Butters continue to impress alongside revitalised Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines and an emerging Jason Horne-Francis.

"Early on it was more me trying to find my place," said Soldo, who won a career-best 54 hitouts in the last-gasp win over the Dockers.

"Working together is actually the best way to go about it and we're all trying to get each other better and trying to get a bit of synergy as well around the stoppage.


"And the new captain, new vice-captain, they're really stepping up as well."

Soldo was eagerly anticipating the clash against the Magpies and coach Craig McRae and his assistant Justin Leppitsch, who both worked with the ruckman at Richmond.

"It's going to be pretty interesting," he said.

"I have had a lot to do with Craig McRae in my time with Richmond, and Justin Leppitsch, so I know how exciting they want the game to be.

"And I'm pretty excited to get over there."