VETERAN Geelong defender Josh Hunt will test the Gillette Free Agency Period water after being let go by the Cats.

The 31-year-old hard nut, who played 198 games for Geelong after debuting for the club in 2001, will leave the Cattery on good terms, claiming he respected its decision to opt for youth as it looked towards a new era.

But Hunt insisted he still had plenty to offer prospective teams, having won two AFL premierships (2007, 2011) and two NAB Cups.

“I totally understand and respect the direction of the club and its youth policy moving forward," Hunt said.

"Having said that, I still have the fire to compete, and feel I have a lot to offer at the highest level, therefore I will definitely be testing the free agency water.”

Hunt later told Gillette Trade Radio he endured a stop-start 2013.  

“At the start of the year Chris said he’d be giving games to young guys…once I got back in I felt like I was going alright but to find myself back in the VFL again was a little bit frustrating I guess,” he said.

The nuggetty defender said he had unfinished business in the AFL and believed his elite kicking would be beneficial for potential suitors. 

“If I was falling apart or my form was bad then I would consider it (retiring) but the fact that I feel really good and from all reports was playing as good footy that I’ve played, then I see no reason why I wouldn’t put myself out there and hopefully get an opportunity somewhere else.”

Geelong coach Chris Scott credited Hunt for having a vital role in the club's recent success.

Scott said the dual premiership player would continue to be held in the highest regard by his teammates and coaches.

"Josh has filled a critical role in defence over a long period and been a key part of the successful Geelong team of the past decade," Scott said.

"His personality and the way he conducted himself as a player and representative of the Geelong Football Club has always been first class.

"As a player from this highly successful period he will walk comfortably with his teammates of this era. His contribution will not be forgotten by those that shared this journey with him."

Twitter: @AFL_Harry