GEELONG players short and tall are excited about the prospect of having luckless big men Hamish McIntosh and Dawson Simpson leading the club's ruck division this year.

A succession of leg problems meant McIntosh didn't play a game at any level in 2013, while Simpson missed the final third of the season after suffering a serious knee injury.

But both have been standout performers on the training track during the summer.

"They're competing against each other a lot and just enjoying that opportunity to be around the boys and ride the emotional rollercoaster that you do as an AFL player," All Australian defender Harry Taylor told

"You spend a lot of rehab time by yourself, so to be able to put the jumper on and train means they're both pretty happy at the moment, which is good."

It remains unclear whether McIntosh and Simpson will line up in the Cats' NAB Challenge opener against Collingwood at Simonds Stadium on Wednesday, February 12, but their teammates are certainly keen to see them out there.

"They've both had terrible, terrible luck in the last couple of years," Taylor said.

"I really want to see them get that hunger back for AFL footy.

"There's no doubt that at times they've probably questioned why they're doing it. When you're sitting in June and July in the rehab room trying to work on your ailments, I guess it can be pretty tough.

"And seeing the team run around on the weekend, and not being part of that success or emotion that you get to ride as a player, must be pretty hard.

"But I'd love to see them competing in games. It would be great to see them come back to the club sore after a game, with a smile on their face, because they've been able to play against an opposition side.

"I'm sure they're both pretty keen to get out there in the NAB Challenge games and have a crack."

After taking on the Magpies, Geelong will travel to Alice Springs to play Melbourne on Friday, February 28.

They will round out their pre-season campaign with a practice game against North Melbourne at Simonds Stadium on Friday, March 7.

As for what they want to get out of the matches, the Cats have simple aims.

"We're hoping just to basically execute our game-plan – the adjustments we've been working on – against a quality opposition, instead of just our own side all the time," Taylor said.

"That will be one of the key things we'll be aiming to get out of it, as well as seeing how some of our new players are going."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol