Geelong captain Joel Selwood celebrated his 350th AFL game in perfect style, with a post-game moment summing up the veteran’s softer side off-field.
Selwood and the Cats notched a 10th consecutive win on Saturday night, defeating the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium to remain a game clear atop the AFL ladder.
A rousing post-game celebration of Selwood involved a chair-off from teammates, congratulations from friends and family, but took an unexpected turn when the 34-year-old ventured back out to the four corners of the centre-square to thank fans for their support.
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“How good does that look, how well is that done,” former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said on Fox Footy’s Best On Ground.
“Football is a team game, but it is played by individuals who contribute blood, sweat and tears to the cause.
“To be able to be acknowledged in that arena and in that cauldron of his own accord without even his teammates around, that’s pretty special.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott paid tribute to Selwood’s glittering career so far, but said the moment in the centre-square was an insight into the star skipper’s state of mind.
“The thing that keeps striking me about Joel is that he’s a carer,” he said.
“It might be a little bit of a soft word to attach to such a tough guy, but he’s always thinking about other people.
“That’s what I saw out on the ground too, he’s not going out to wave to the crowd and accept all the adulation, he’s going out there to thank them and show his appreciation for being a part of his big night and big career.”
Scott admitted he had been “a little bit emotional the whole week” about Selwood’s milestone and remains in awe of his side’s captain.
“I’m still pinching myself every day walking into the Geelong footy club,” he said.
“It’d be nice to be able to tell my kids and grandkids one day that I spent a lot of time with Joel Selwood. It’s a royal privilege.”
Selwood’s glittering CV could be capped this year with his first premiership as captain, having already played in three earlier in his career.