Cats' Tom Hawkins keen to play on in 2023

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Geelong veteran Tom Hawkins has declared his intention to play on next year, but first he wants to celebrate Joel Selwood's 350-game AFL milestone in style.

Hawkins has defied father time to remain in career-best form, with the 34-year-old booting 49 goals from 18 matches this season in a formidable strike duo with Jeremy Cameron.

The 320-game veteran says he's feeling good both physically and mentally, and he's keen to extend his career by at least another year.

"I'll be playing next year, absolutely," Hawkins said.

"That's certainly the plan. I know like anything when it comes to a player being out of contract, I know there's always chatter around what's happening.

"I understand that being 34 it's not as much of a formality. But I'm looking forward to doing that (formalising the deal) when I get the opportunity to."

Selwood will become the first Cat in VFL/AFL history to crash through the 350-game barrier when he runs out in Saturday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium.

The match will also mark the 300th game where Selwood and Hawkins have played together as teammates.

Selwood was snared with pick No.7 in the 2006 national draft, while Hawkins was a father-son pick that year.

"He's one of my best friends," Hawkins said of Selwood.

"We knew a little bit about each other before we got drafted.

"I vividly remember where I was when Geelong called out his name, and I thought, 'how good is this'.

"I was really excited to play a year or two with him. I didn't think it would eventuate into 300 games together as teammates.

"In my eyes, maybe I'm a bit biased, but I think he's one of the greatest - if not the greatest - Cats player to have ever played."

Geelong (14-4) sit a game clear on top of the ladder following a stunning nine-match winning run.

The Cats round out their home-and-away campaign with games against the Bulldogs, St Kilda, Gold Coast and West Coast.

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