Portland coach Jarrod Holt says the goal will be to remain competitive despite losing close to half its players from its 2022 semi-finals team.
The Tigers' premier ruck Ben Malcolm and leading goal kicker Tom Sharp (82 goals in 2022) won't suit up for Hampden league club in 2023, while midfielder Lochie Huppatz has departed for Darwin.
It follows the departure of captain and reigning Maskell Medallist Daniel Jackson, who moved to North Queensland, along with Harry McIntyre (Bell Post Hill), Kade Lovell and Tex Mitchell (Geelong West) and Jack Walsh.
Nathan Haylock won't play this year, while Aaron Shepherd will miss the season following knee surgery.
Coming off their first-ever Hampden league finals campaign and win in 2022, Holt said expectations would realistically be lower than last season due to the exodus of experienced players.
"It's just how it is," he said. "We've got a few holes to fill and it gives other guys opportunity. We're going to have a lot of young guys playing.
"Hopefully we can be nice and competitive early in the year and we can build on it and get some improvement as the year goes on."
Portland suffered a heavy defeat against a rebuilding Port Fairy side in a practice match at Gardens Oval on Saturday.
Just four of Portland's semi-final team from last year featured in the match, including Josh Edwards, Kyle Richardson, Sam Hampshire and Connor Peters.
Holt said several younger players would take much-needed experience away from the clash, while many were tested in different positions. He said the majority of players who went through the midfield hadn't played a senior match in the midfield.
"We've pretty much lost our whole midfield and ruck from last year," he said. "It was some good learnings for them (younger players) and we're going to need to find a couple players to do that.
"We're still a few weeks away from starting the season so hopefully the boys, their motivation grows, and we can get some good training in and a couple practice matches in."
Portland will play an intra-club scratch match before facing North Warrnambool Eagles in a practice match a week out from its season-opener against Warrnambool at Hanlon Park on April 1.
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