Sydney Swans defender Lewis Melican holds no fears ahead of his first AFL finals series, the young defender having his coaches and formative years as a rookie to thank for that.

Melican, who arrived in Sydney via Pick 52 in the 2015 Rookie Draft, has become a mainstay of the Swans’ defensive half, looking at home alongside Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe and alike and at ease opposed to some of the best up-and-coming forwards in the game.

His two pre-season campaigns – plying his craft against Lance Franklin, Kurt Tippett and Sam Reid in match simulations – helped him prepare for what was to come while faith shown from the coaches has helped build his self-belief.

Coach John Longmire has not hesitated entrusting Melican with some big tasks in his debut year, including in Round 18 when the boy from Birregurra was sent to St Kilda champ Nick Riewoldt.

The 20-year-old kept the five-time All Australian to just four marks and a goal, a performance which earned him that round’s AFL Rising Star nomination.

The youngster’s consistency has seen him string 17 games together since his Round 5 debut, an outstanding run which could have remained unbroken had he not missed the Richmond clash at the MCG due to match-ups.

Ahead of Saturday’s crunch final against Essendon, Melican is confident he’ll be able to maintain his stellar form in September.

“The coaches keep picking me so they’ve obviously got the confidence in me,” Melican said.

“And that translates to me, I think, and gives me confidence going into these games whoever I play on.”

Pending how the teams line up on Saturday, Melican will likely take one of Joe Daniher, James Stewart or (if passed fit) Cale Hooker.

He had Stewart for company in the clubs’ last meeting, in Round 14 earlier this season, and expects to go to the 197cm key forward again during the do-or-die final.

Regardless of the matchups, Melican says they’ll be focusing on their own approach to quelling Essendon’s forwards rather than who makes the trip to Sydney.

“We obviously do our homework and research on them and how they play,” he added.

“But, when it comes down to it, a lot of the time it’s about doing our things right and make sure we’re doing the things we want to do that helps us get the win.”