20-year-old key forward Shannon Neale is now in his third season with Geelong and is eager to learn from his premiership teammates during pre-season training.

With Tom Hawkins working through a foot injury, Neale has embraced the chance to get a run with the senior side and show his ability in a stacked Geelong forward line.

“Big ‘Scratcher' (Neale) has got a great opportunity at the moment with Tom Hawkins just working through his rehab,” Geelong Cats Head of Player Development Matthew Egan told Cats Media.

“He's getting some experience with Jeremy Cameron and Gary Rohan and some of the bigger guys down there at being the main target, along with the big fellas.

“He's come back from the pre-season in ripping shape, and into his third year now, he's sort of free to go.

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“(Neale's) getting a lot of the training in. He's an amazing athlete with his ability to play tall, and he's developed his body so he is strong enough to play on anyone, but he can also get right up the ground and play a third, hybrid tall as well.”

Top 10 draft pick Jhye Clark is also showing promising signs in the pre-season as he looks to challenge for a spot in the 22.

Speaking on Clark's progression, Egan said the teenager was turning heads at training, at times shifting to a role in the backline to offer Chris Scott some flexibility.

Jhye Clark is progressing really well, he's getting some inside experience against some pretty quality, experienced AFL players," Egan said.

"He's played a little bit half-back in some of the drills we've done, which has been good fun for him."

Jhye Clark and Cameron Guthrie during the 2022 AFL National Draft (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Sports)

The Cats will kick their season off against Collingwood for a Round 1, qualifying final rematch on March 17.