HAMISH McIntosh earned his stripes as a Geelong player on Thursday night, according to coach Chris Scott, and McIntosh himself says he's determined to repay the club's faith in him. 
A brilliant running goal capped a long-awaited Geelong debut for the ruckman, 29, who had been sidelined with a series of Achilles and knee complaints since round seven, 2012.
"I reckon my heart rate hit about 250 clicks," McIntosh said about the goal.
"That's just something you think about the night before the game. I got one, and carried on like a goose, but it's just great to be playing."
Scott said the game was a defining moment in McIntosh's Geelong career.
"Hamish McIntosh probably became a Geelong player tonight," Scott said.
"He's had to fight hard to earn the respect of his teammates. You can be a fantastic trainer and a great bike rider, but unless you get the opportunity to do it out there on the track in games, it's very difficult to earn that respect."
McIntosh admits he felt guilty and ashamed when he could not get on the park for the Cats last year.
"It's been a tough road, an up-and-down journey," McIntosh said after game.

"It was an emotional night, but to experience that moment out in the middle of the ground when that siren blows - for that 10-20 seconds to feel that win - there's no way of explaining that feeling.

"It's amazing and (makes) all the hard work worth it."

McIntosh came to Geelong as a replacement for premiership ruckman Brad Ottens – the big bodied, big-game performer who had a giant hand in the remarkable premiership era of the Cats.
The Cats gave up pick No.36 to secure the former North Melbourne big man in the hope he could add size and experience to their shallow ruck department.
He had shown undoubted potential and talent in his 107-game Kangaroos career.
McIntosh was forced to bide his time in rehab. The big-name recruit, who Geelong expected so much from, was stuck on the sidelines.
"There were times when I didn't think I'd get back  … it's great to be back playing AFL footy again, I missed it and I'm just going to cherish every game and every win I get now," he said.

McIntosh finished with 12 disposals and 19 hit-outs on Thursday night. 
"I'm so determined to now play for as long as I can and to prove myself and thank the Geelong footy club for what they've done for me," he said. 
"I'm determined to reward that faith they've shown in me and to play some good footy. Hopefully tonight's a good start."