GEELONG spearhead Tom Hawkins admits he was "shattered" to learn he would have to leave his family behind for his 300th match on Friday night and the rest of the finals series.
The Cats are entering hard quarantine on Tuesday ahead of flying to Adelaide on Thursday for their qualifying final against Port Adelaide the following night.
Regardless of the outcome, the Cats will likely head to Perth post-match and remain on the road for up to a month as they look to win their first flag since 2011.
On a night Hawkins will become just the sixth player in Cats history to reach the milestone, his wife and two daughters will be watching from the couch at home.
"They're not going to be able to come across and I'm going to be away for a bit which, to be honest I was shattered about early," Hawkins said
"I would've loved to have taken my two girls out and have (wife) Emma up the race and have my immediate family and my friends to the game to watch me play.
"I take solace in the fact that I've got my teammates there who are the other part of getting me to where I am today. That's life, I'm only going to play 300 games once and I understand the situation, but it is a bit disappointing."
Hawkins concedes he pondered just how much football he had left in his body when he battled an ongoing back injury across 2013 and 2014.
However, the gun forward has since hit career-best form, winning the Coleman Medal in 2020 and is in line for his fourth (and third consecutive) Therabody AFL All-Australian blazer this week.
Coach Chris Scott declared Hawkins, who holds a contract for 2022, had several years of football ahead of him, something the 33-year-old agreed with on Tuesday.
"I honestly do (think I've got a lot of football ahead of me)," Hawkins said.
"I'm in a privileged position where I'm in my 15th season and I'm going into my 14th year of finals to be able to represent this club that puts us in the best possible shape (to contend).
"You could arguably look back on the last 10 years and we haven't been able to win a premiership, but we get given a chance every year."
Hawkins joins Corey Enright, Joel Selwood, Ian Nankervis, Jimmy Bartel and Sam Newman as 300-game Cats.
Selwood, currently on 331 games, will draw level with Geelong games record holder Corey Enright when he leads the Cats out against the Power.