REALITY-TV recruit Johann Wagner has had a tough initiation into the harsh reality of AFL football, says Port Adelaide's midfield manager Michael Voss.
Voss told's First Bounce that Wagner, who was offered a spot on Port Adelaide’s rookie list after being the winner of The Recruit in 2014, would begin in the SANFL with the Port Adelaide Magpies and gradually build into the season.
Wagner, 24, played a NAB Challenge game against Richmond but Voss said the rookie had been playing catch-up during the pre-season after battling injury.
"Burgo's (fitness coach Darren Burgess) program has got a bit of load in it so for him to step up after a few injuries was difficult for him," Voss said.
However he said Wagner was gradually finding his feet.
"Certainly his past six weeks have been very consistent and he has started to make some inroads to where he needs to be," Voss said.
With Wagner's path to the rookie list unprecedented, Voss said that expectations needed to be realistic.
"He's got the opportunity and he needs to make the most of it," Voss said.
Port Adelaide head into 2015 as one of the premiership favourites with Wagner joining one of the competition's most talented lists.