PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley laid down an intriguing pre-season challenge to rookie Kane Mitchell; beat Kane Cornes in a three-kilometre time trial and you can keep your hair.

Mitchell's flowing black hair had been a point of pride and the 174cm speedster was keen for it to stay.

However beating Cornes in the veteran’s pet event proved an impossible feat.

Mitchell got close to the four-time John Cahill Medallist, but his short back and sides was proof of the race's outcome.

"Ken and I were in our end-of-season meeting and obviously Ken's not blessed with hair, so he didn't really like [mine]," Mitchell said.

"He asked what we were going to do about it. I said I wanted to keep it and he said 'well you can keep it, if you beat Kane (Cornes) in a three [kilometre run].

"I thought I’d better book my haircut in, because no-one's beaten that man in years.

"It's gone, but I'm getting the slick-back going so hopefully it looks alright."

What he's lost on top, Mitchell hopes to gain on the field. The 2012 Sandover Medallist is determined to become more than a super-sub in 2014.

Jarrad Redden's move to the long-term injury list after knee surgery has opened a place on the club's senior list, and as disappointing as Redden's setback was for the club, Mitchell said he and the other rookies would now fight hard to grab the vacant spot.

"It's tough sometimes, you do feel a bit like a vulture waiting for someone to get injured and unfortunately 'Reddo' (Redden) is injured. But there's Sam Gray, Sam Russell, Daniel Flynn and Brent Renouf too on the rookie list," he said.

"We're all vying for that spot…you've got to play well [in the NAB Challenge] and you've got to train well."

Mitchell and the Power will get their first NAB Challenge opportunity on Sunday against Adelaide.

The Power left forward John Butcher out of the squad, despite the 22-year-old booting four goals in last weekend's internal trial match.

Mitchell said there was nothing more to the omission than an attempt by the club to freshen a few players up after a "hard and brutal pre-season".

Crows fans waiting to watch Brad and Matt Crouch play their first competitive game together will be forced to wait a little longer, with Brad missing out on the squad.

Key forward James Podsiadly, set for his first hit-out as a Crow, said the extra wait shouldn't bother the club's supporters, predicting they would have plenty of time to enjoy the combination in the future.

"I'm tipping that the Crouch brothers will be playing 10 to 12 years together, so one game in February 2014 won't make too much of a difference," he said.

Twitter: @AFL_Harry http://afl.to/harrythring