When Geelong Cats captain Joel Selwood runs out onto Adelaide Oval this Thursday night, he will be achieving a feat that puts the Selwood name into the record books.
The clash against Port Adelaide will be Selwood’s 322nd AFL game and it brings the Selwood family games tally to 753. The contribution of 322 games by Joel, 187 by Adam, 169 by Scott, and 75 by Troy breaks the previous record of 752 games held by the Daniher family.
“I don’t really look upon these sorts of times in the past cause usually you’re wrapped up in yourself but this is one that I’ve achieved with the brothers and really proud to be able to do that”, Selwood told media on Tuesday.
Reflecting on the upcoming feat, Selwood was full of praise and admiration towards his parents more than anything. He recounted the many sacrifices his parents had to make to keep the childhood dreams of their four sons alive, especially growing up in a town like Bendigo
“We want to give mum and dad as much credit as we can because we understand growing up it wasn’t as easy as it looks,” Selwood said.
“It was a lot of car trips, It was just a lot of sport afterwards too but we loved it and mum and dad were fantastic.
“I really hope they get some joy this week and [on] the weekend too. We’re quite proud.”
Each of the Selwood brothers has a different story as to how they got to play at the top level, different paths that their careers took them. Ultimately, it was a family bond that kept them together and set on achieving the same goal.
Twin brothers Troy and Adam went to different sides of the country when they were drafted to Brisbane and West Coast respectively, in 2002. The two younger brothers Scott and Joel would stay in Bendigo for a few years yet until Joel was drafted to Geelong in 2006 and Scott joined Adam at West Coast the year after.
“It wasn’t the easiest scenario that [our parents] got dealt but we can be really grateful we got drafted to great clubs, the three clubs we were all a part of, and that they’ve enjoyed the ride the whole time which has been fantastic” Selwood says.
“As we’ve gone on throughout our career, we want to make sure they have enjoyed it too because it’s not gonna last forever and we just appreciate everything they’ve done.”
During a 2012 game between West Coast and Geelong, Adam and Joel got into each other after the Cat laid a big hit on the Eagle and went back for more. Talking about this moment, the Cats skipper cheekily said he would’ve had the support of his parents over Adam if they took sides.
“Dad would’ve looked after me because he always has. I was the favourite, had the most talent, and then I reckon I might’ve even had mum’s side too,” Selwood quipped.
“Scott was playing with West Coast at that time so it was two v one so she just probably wanted to even the ledger.”
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Selwood hopes this weekend is a celebration that the whole family can enjoy, but understands that for him, there’s still a game of football to be played. Geelong is coming off the bye, and in recent seasons, the following game has been difficult for the club to win.
“We understand we’re playing one of the sides that are going to be there at the end of the year this weekend,” Selwood noted.
“That’s got us excited enough to get over there and really challenge ourselves against what we think is a side that’s gonna be right up there when the whips are cracking.
“We need to get our balance right in playing well and just keep our concentration levels up too to make sure we get the result we want.”
Selwood confirmed it would be a fly-in-fly-out situation when traveling into Adelaide on Thursday, respecting the AFL’s protocols and living under Victoria’s current restrictions. He says his role and responsibilities as captain don’t change too much when the club is forced into situations like this but conceded it was important to remain upbeat.
“There’s not too much we can control except do the right thing. It’s just, make sure that we listen during meetings and it’s all been really pretty clear to us, what we need to do,” Selwood says.
“The main thing for us is, and a lot of the other clubs is just making sure the boys’ wellbeing is as good as [it] possibly can [be] at these times.”
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