GEELONG ruckman Hamish McIntosh says it is going to be weird to play against his former North Melbourne teammates for the first time in a premiership match on Friday night.
McIntosh played 107 games at North from 2003-12, but joined the Cats in the 2012 trade period after the Roos settled on Todd Goldstein as their preferred No. 1 ruckman.
A horror run of injuries sidelined McIntosh for his entire first season at Geelong, but he has rebounded strongly this year, playing every game so far and cementing himself as the Cats' leading ruck option.
McIntosh told SEN radio on Thursday morning Geelong's practice match against North in the pre-season had given him an inkling of what he could expect on Friday night.
The 29-year-old also said it was a relief that his best mate Nathan Grima would miss the clash with a foot injury, joking that they would have "talked crap for two hours and actually wouldn't play any footy".
But McIntosh said it would still be strange to play against some of his long-term friends at North.
"I was a groomsman at Michael Firrito's wedding and have got another couple of very close mates there," he said.
"When I play forward I might line up on 'Spud' (Firrito) tomorrow night if he's playing, it's going to be weird.
"When you play there for 10 years you've got a lot of great relationships and great mates, but obviously I'm very keen to have a win and make sure I get the brownie points and can brag amongst the boys for the next couple of months."
Even with Grima sidelined, McIntosh is still expecting some sledging from his North mates.
"We played a practice match there in the pre-season and Boomer (Harvey) was pretty funny. He's always been really good on the lip, so he'll be good value," McIntosh said.
"Lachy Hansen is usually pretty funny out on the footy field as well, but I don't think he actually knows what he's saying half the time.
"He just goes for it, he's good value.
"There's a couple of lippy boys out there, but I'm looking forward to it."Twitter: @AFL_Nick