THE ODDS of Mark Blicavs making a shock debut in Geelong's round one blockbuster against Hawthorn have shortened dramatically after he held his own against Adelaide star Sam Jacobs on Saturday.

The former steeplechaser collected eight possessions, won 14 hit-outs, took three marks and kicked a goal in the Cats' 63-point demolition of the Crows at Simonds Stadium.

"I was loving it out there, it was really good fun," Blicavs said after what just his sixth game of football since he stopped playing for Taylors Lakes as a 14-year-old and turned his focus towards athletics.

"My first kick was out on the full and there was another one where (Enright) kicked it to me and it went through my legs - I didn't get low enough.

"But as the game went on I felt like I grew in confidence."

A host of injuries to Geelong's more experienced ruckmen have opened the door for Blicavs.

Trent West had knee surgery last week and is battling to be fit for the much-anticipated clash with the Hawks, while Nathan Vardy (groin) is also in doubt.

Recruit Hamish McIntosh (knee) and luckless big man Dawson Simpson (back) are already out of contention.

Simpson was recently moved to the Cats' long-term injury list, which means the club is expected to promote either Josh Walker of Blicavs to its senior list prior to round one.

"I'll just keep training hard," Blicavs said. "My kicking out here was atrocious, so I'll keep working hard on that.

"But playing against the Hawks would be pretty exciting, I guess."

Blicavs was signed by Geelong as a category B rookie (meaning he hadn't played in an Australian Rules competition at any level for at least three years) in late 2011.

After fulfilling his dream of competing in a number of athletics meets in Europe, the 21-year-old arrived at Simonds Stadium in the middle of last year.

Since then, he has committed himself to making the grade as a footballer – a journey that began when he played four VFL matches during the second half of the 2012 season.

"His rate of improvement has been remarkable," Cats assistant coach Blake Caracella said following the win over the Crows.

"He's obviously a fantastic athlete - his spring's pretty good and he's a fantastic runner.

"But his game-sense and knowledge of how to play the game, for someone who hasn't played footy since the under-14s , is amazing.

"He's somehow managed to learn at a rapid rate and he's come along heaps. He's certainly going to push for selection come round one or certainly during the season."

Although Blicavs has played so little footy, Geelong's coaches believe he is good enough to line up against Hawthorn at the MCG on Easter Monday.

"Even in his game two weeks ago he jumped over (Fremantle giant Aaron) Sandilands at his first centre bounce he took," Caracella said.

"And obviously today, against a quality ruckman, he rucked quite OK."

Does Blicavs himself believe he could get the job done against the Hawks?

"Hypothetically, if that happened, I've played on Sandilands two weeks ago and Jacobs (today)," he said.

"They're two of the best ruckmen in the League, in my eyes, so it can't be any more daunting than that.

"I'll just take it as it comes, and if I get an opportunity I'll be giving 100 per cent."

The recent change to the ruck rules, which has resulted in grappling being banned at boundary throw-ins and ball-ups, has been another bonus for Blicavs.

"That's something we've talked about," he said.

"I'm 198cm, so for a ruckman that's not that tall. And I'm 96kgs, so for a ruckman that's tiny.

"I don't want to be trying to body on Jacobs or anything.

"I think the one-metre rule I think does advantage the jumping ruckmen that want to come off and maybe give a bump or something - they don't want to wrestle.

"So that's handy."

Mark Blicavs is a midfielder in AFL Fantasy. He did not play in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy hub.

Adam McNicol covers Geelong news for Follow him on Twitter at @AFL_AdamMcNicol