Rising Star lifts Selwood out of brothers’ shadow

Andrew Mathieson
Geelong midfielder Joel Selwood’s AFL Rising Star award has ensured the teenager will no longer be dubbed just Adam and Troy’s little brother.
Talent scouts were suitably impressed with the youngest Selwood brother this time last year and inevitably comparisons were made to his brothers playing at West Coast and Brisbane.
Kicking the footy in the Bendigo family backyard as a kid, Joel has learned a trick or two from the twins.
But not even they have soared the same heights after both were nominated for the Rising Star in 2005 before Richmond midfielder Brett Deledio took out the award.
The emerging Cats star, however, paid hearty tribute to his brothers for moulding him into a well-rounded AFL player.
“It hasn’t been so much about playing football that they’ve helped me out with but just the little things like the way to look after my body when I was a lot younger,” he said.
“They’ve definitely helped me mature, too, and develop as a person since they’ve been at their AFL clubs.
“I have got them to thank for a lot and, of course, my mum (Maree) and dad (Bryce).”
Both parents and younger brother Scott, who many good judges have predicted will be the best of all four Selwood boys, also attended Wednesday’s award ceremony in Melbourne.
A humble Selwood won the Rising Star award with 44 out of a possible 45 votes ahead of Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury on 37 and Melbourne’s Nathan Jones, 17.
The award this year, for the first time, was named in honour of Ron Evans, a leading Essendon and league goalkicker and a visionary AFL administrator who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.
“I had his wife hand over the medal,” Selwood said.
“I think it was pretty emotional for her because he did a lot of great things for the Australian Football League.
“To win the inaugural Ron Evans Medal was just a great honour.”
The Cats took Selwood with pick number seven – their first overall – in last year’s AFL national draft and the club is reaping the rewards.
The 19-year-old said he was now keen to concentrate on Geelong’s impending finals campaign.
“It’s really good to have it over and done with and to get on with the football now,” he said of the Rising Star award.
“It wasn’t much of a distraction but there was a lot of talk about it.”