Jimmy Bartel hopes to keep lending his experience to Geelong next year, but says he's also excited by the rise of the club's crop of youngsters.
The triple premiership player returned from injury to play his 275th game for the Cats last weekend against North Melbourne.
He showed he has lost none of his ability by collecting 41 disposals, and says he was delighted to be back in action.
"I really discovered that extra bit of passion to get back out there," said the 31-year-old, who won the Brownlow Medal in 2007. "I was just itching to get back out on the field."
Bartel hopes to stay with the Cats for next year, and expects to be given an answer soon by the club.
His time on the sidelines, which included an appearance in the VFL, gave him an insight into the youngsters who are pushing for senior selection at Geelong.
"There is a huge amount of potential there and the guys are really hungry to make their own imprint," he said. "I'm certainly excited more in the character of the sort of blokes we've got coming through, but obviously they have got some great ability as well."
The Cats have seen Dean Gore, Jarrad Jansen, Jake Kolodjashnij, Nakia Cockatoo and Michael Luxford develop this year. A group of young players including midfielder Darcy Lang have also become permanent members of the senior team.
Lang's form has earned him a new two-year deal, tying him to the Cats until the end of the 2017 season.
The 19-year-old has featured in all 13 of Geelong's games this year, averaging 14 disposals per match and kicking eight goals.
He said: "Obviously I've still got a lot to work on, but just stringing games together and getting that continuity in the ones is something that I've been striving for. I just want to keep getting better."
Geelong are 1.58 to win Saturday's clash with Western Bulldogs, who are 2.40.