GEELONG rookie Jackson Sheringham is hoping to use Sunday's VFL Grand Final against the Box Hill Hawks at Etihad Stadium as a springboard into next season.

The speedy midfielder has already been offered a place on the Cats' rookie list for 2014, but he's hoping to put a disappointing campaign behind him when he runs out against the Hawks.

After playing five AFL games last year, Sheringham has been unable to add to that tally, with knee, shoulder and hamstring injuries sidelining him for long periods.

"It's been a really frustrating year for me," he told

"I was rapt to get a couple of AFL games last season, and had a big pre-season as well, so I was really looking forward to getting into this season.

"But I copped a couple of injuries on the back of each other and missed the best part of four months.

"There were some really hard times throughout the season, but just getting back out there with the boys at this time of the year is great."

Having been part of Geelong's 2012 VFL premiership, Sheringham is keen to win another one and send a message to the football world that the club's next generation is ready to step up.

"It's a very exciting time of the year for the whole footy club," the 25-year-old said.

"I think the Geelong footy club has shown that they want their players to be able to stand up in the big moments.

"That's what the AFL guys have done in the last five or six years.

"We're learning from those guys, but it's really important for us to show that we can do that in these games."

Another of Geelong's rookies, former Melbourne Tigers basketballer Ryan Bathie, is aiming to use the VFL Grand Final to show his wares to clubs in the market for key position players.

Bathie, who is a Category B rookie (coming from another sport), has now been with the Cats for three years, meaning he must be elevated to the senior list or delisted at the end of the season.

It is highly unlikely that he will be elevated, so he must impress any potential suitors in Sunday's match.

"It's a very big game for him, but it's also a great opportunity to perform on a big stage," Bathie's manager Tim Hazell said.

Along with four appearances in the NAB Cup, Bathie has played 54 VFL games over three seasons, and was among the best players in the Cats' VFL Grand Final win last year.

The 26-year-old, who stands 198cm tall, spent his early days with the club learning the ropes as a key defender.

But after being moved to the forward line this season he has booted 28 goals, including four hauls of four.

"I just think the fact that he's developed so well over the last three years should grant him the opportunity to play AFL football," Hazell said.

"He's a really versatile player, as he's shown by going forward.

"His body is ready to go, and he's at the prime of his height and size and the way that he moves.

"I think the agility he gets from his basketball background is a big strength, and he's an ultra-professional.

"He certainly feels that he should be in the system for a while yet."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol