Joel Selwood is set to play his 350th game for Geelong when they take on Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.

Joining recent 350-gamer and Collingwood legend Scott Pendlebury, Selwood will enter rare air, becoming the 21st player in VFL/AFL history to reach the milestone and being the fastest to ever do it.

Coach Chris Scott had some kind words to say about his leader, suggesting that he may be the greatest player he’s ever seen.

“I feel so privileged to have worked with such a great captain,” Scott said on Friday.

“I think the positional comparisons are hard, but I’ll just say it, and I think I’ve said it before that I find it hard to compare eras, but he’s the best player I’ve seen in my time when you take everything into consideration.

“In terms of impact on a football club and assistance to a head coach, I can’t think of any better.”

The 34-year-old has a long list of individual and team accolades, as well as a strong endorsement from Scott (who played with Michael Voss, Simon Black and Jason Akermanis), which begs the questions:

Where does Joel Selwood sit among the greats? Is he the greatest Cat there is?

The Geelong skipper’s claim for being one of the best products from Kardinia Park doesn’t begin with a Brownlow Medal nor excessive club best and fairests, but more so to his leadership and courage.

Often seen with blood gushing from his head, followed by three rolls of tape to stem the bleeding, Selwood has never shied away from a challenge and the opportunity to lift his team when they need it.

The spiritual leader of the side since stepping foot into Geelong, the brother of former AFL players Adam, Troy and Scott never took a backwards step and is arguably the best Cat there is.

So let’s take a look at the career of Joel Selwood.

Honours

For starters, Selwood is a three-time premiership player for the Cats, winning three in five years under former coach Mark Thompson (2007 and 2009) and Chris Scott (2011).

He is a six-time All-Australian (2009, 2010, 2013 (c), 2014 (c), 2016 (c), 2017) while also being named captain in three of those selections, indicating his leadership and presence within the competition.

At age 24, Selwood became captain in 2012, taking over from Cameron Ling and is now the leading games holder, surpassing Stephen Kernahan (226) early in 2022 for most captained matches.

Throughout his career, Selwood has also managed to claim three Carji Greeves Medals (Geelong best and fairest) in 2010, 2013 and 2014. He has also finished on the podium (top three) in six seasons and top five in 10 campaigns.

Votes by his peers, the number 14 was also rewarded with a four-time AFLPA Robert Rose Most Courageous Player (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) award.

In 2013, Selwood was recognised as the game’s best captain by teammates and opposition players (AFLPA best captain).

The Geelong leader also took part in three International Series games in 2014 and 2017, captaining the side in 2014 against Ireland.

Selwood is also the Cats’ games-record holder, taking over from Corey Enright (332) in 2021.

Statistics

  • Only player to win the Rising Star and Premiership in the same year (2007)
  • Ranked fourth for most wins in VFL/AFL history with 253 behind Michael Tuck (302), Shaun Burgoyne (263) and Kevin Bartlett (302)
  • Won the most games (193) before turning 30. Narrowly pipped former teammate and Brownlow Medallist Jimmy Bartel (175)
  • Highest winning percentage (72.64 per cent) of any current AFL player
  • Most career Brownlow votes for Geelong (210), leading Gary Ablett (140) and Patrick Dangerfield (133)
  • 3rd longest all-time streak for most wins (25 – 2008) in VFL/AFL history
  • Selwood has played in 14 victories of 100+ points, equal most with Michael Tuck
  • He has the most victories at GMHBA Stadium with 95 wins, leading John Newman and Tom Hawkins (88)
  • Joel’s career wins (253) from 349 games is more than his three brothers (Troy, Adam and Scott) combined victories (222 from 431 matches)
  • Chris Scott and Selwood hold the longest reign of most games in charge for any coach and captain pairing with 239, leading Damien Hardwick and Trent Cotchin on 188
Selwood.jpg

  • Selwood is also looking at taking number one spot for most wins as captain, as he currently sits equal with Dick Reynolds on 159
  • Selwood and Hawkins have combined for 211 wins, the most in VFL/AFL history
  • The pair also have their sight set on most games as teammates, which currently sits on 299, eight off the highest
  • He is also set to play in the most finals in 2022 (currently on 37), with Tuck in his sights on 39
  • Selwood is about to enter his 15th finals series, equalling Michael Tuck and Dick Lee
  • Recorded as having the most tackles in history, with 1775
  • Second in handballs (4341), only to Scott Pendlebury
  • 8th in most disposals (8621), at an average of 24.70 per game
  • 4th for most inside 50s (1417), at an average of 4.06 per game
  • Selwood is also recorded for having the most clearances in history (1818), slightly above Sydney’s Josh Kennedy (1810)
  • 4th in most contested possessions (3929) behind teammate Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Kennedy
  • Selwood also hasn’t lost in a milestone game

So where does Selwood sit amongst the greats of Geelong?

More: Want more AFL? Watch Warriors On The Field celebrating Aboriginal Australia and its long history and association with the AFL. Streaming on AMAZON PRIME VIDEO 

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