Captain courageous to play 2022

Joel Selwood at a press conference on Tuesday. (Louisa Jones) 243776_09

By Luke Voogt

Cats captain Joel Selwood will play his 16th season for Geelong in 2022 after agreeing to a one-year contract extension.

But he declined to say if he would continue as skipper in 2022, with Stephen Kernahan’s record for the most AFL-VFL games as captain within reach.

The champion centre half-forward captained Carlton for 226 games, with Selwood needing a dozen games, including at least two next season, to break the record.

“We just weigh up that captaincy throughout the preseason period, whether it’s me or someone else, and we’ll look at it from there,” Selwood told a press conference on Tuesday.

“For now it’s just about finishing this year well. We’ve got a number of guys that could do it – I’ve got no doubt in that.

“Whether it’s still helpful for them for me to do it and shoulder the load for a little bit, so they can just take over when needs be – I’m happy to do that too, so we’ll wait and see.”

Selwood has captained a club record of 215 games in blue and white and is currently leading the Cats in his tenth season as skipper.

He described his leadership as “pretty simple”.

“I love the workplace and the people that we … work with so it’s mainly about [working out] how the personalities can join together,” he said.

Selwood has played 325 games in total and could surpass Corey Enright’s club record of 332 later this season.

Lauded across the AFL for his toughness, Selwood has enjoyed an incredible career since the Cats selected him at pick seven in the 2006 national draft.

He won the Rising Star Award in his debut AFL season in 2007 and the first of three premierships.

He has won three Carji Greeves medals, earned six All-Australian selections, including three as captain, and was runner-up in the 2013 Brownlow Medal.

The 33-year-old said he was still enjoying football, as well as the challenge of integrating recruits from other clubs and rookies into the Cats’ system.

“I want to win every year and I want to win every weekend. When you’re 30 plus a bit of GST it means that you’re probably just looking at one-year deals, which is absolutely fine with me.”

He said he had attended most training sessions this year while still being “smart with what I do in terms of management”.

“I can’t remember the last one really that I’ve missed.”

He also indicated he would be flexible to either playing out the rest of the season or having another one-week break dependent on what his club needed.

Cats football general manager Simon Lloyd said Selwood epitomised a team-first approach.

“While Joel’s record speaks for itself, what is most important to him and the team is that he continues to play at such a high level.

“He has been among our best players all season and has continued to show his durability and passion for the game. He continues to do all he can to make the team and the club successful.”