K rock Football

Selwood set to equal record

Geelong captain Joel Selwood in action during the Round 1 win over Collingwood. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

WITH his glittering career is closer to the end than the beginning, Geelong captain Joel Selwood knows the window is quickly closing on his chance of adding a fourth premiership to his resume.

The 31-year-old warrior will become equal the record for most VFL/AFL finals played by a Cat when he runs out for a 28th time in a final in Friday night’s qualifying final clash with Collingwood.

And Selwood is keen to make the most of the situation Geelong has put itself in by winning the minor premiership over the next four weeks.

“I think you just appreciate the opportunity more, more than anything. And the position the side’s got itself in, and what you’ve done to get it there,” Selwood said.

“But it is also now… it’s one of eight chance to take it (the premiership) away at the end of the day, and we’re just in that bracket giving ourselves that best chance we possibly can.

“It comes down to quarter-by-quarter stuff now.”

While Selwood embarks on his 12th finals series from 13 seasons, several young Cats will be making their first appearance in September.

Esava Ratugolea, Gryan Miers and Quinton Narkle all look set to play their first final. Tom Atkins will be in the same boat if he returns from missing the final round win over Carlton following minor hand surgery.

Selwood says discussions with the less experienced members of the playing group about big games have been ongoing and he’s confident they’ll handle the spotlight that shines brighter at the start of spring.

“We didn’t shy away from it earlier in the year … we put them out there and we said, “let’s go”, and they were up for it and dragged it along as much as our older guys,” Selwood said.

“I’m really proud of what the team’s done to get this stage right now, but it’s now the time we go again.”

Selwood has battled injury at times through the year, while also adjusting to a new role on the wing.

“I’d like to have played better at stages, but I’ve played a role and enjoyed learning a different side of football to what I’ve done,” he said.

“For a number of years, I saddled up and did the same thing.

“But, for me, it was always what was best for the side. I can understand that, I can work with it, and make sure I can finish this year as best as I possibly can.”

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