Geelong great Joel Selwood retires after premiership glory

Geelong great Joel Selwood has retired after 16 seasons and 355 games, following his fourth flag with the club.

Recently leading the Cats to their 10th premiership in 2022, Selwood thought it was an appropriate time to hang up the boots

The 34-year-old ends his career as the longest-serving captain in V/AFL history, having taken over from Cameron Ling at the beginning of 2012.

Ironically, Selwood joins former captains Ling (2011) and Tom Harley (2009) as leaders who have won a premiership and retired after.

He also has claimed the most games as a Geelong player (355) as well as having played in the most V/AFL finals (40), recently surpassing Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck (39).

Selwood said his mind was made up weeks ago and was excited to ride out the remainder of the season as it came.

“This is actually probably a little bit easier for me today than probably what most people would think. About six weeks ago I decided that this would be it, that I’d finish my playing days at the Geelong footy club – win, lose or draw come the end of the year,” Selwood said.

“It was a decision made amongst my manager, who I wanted to catch up with before round 23, we then decided as I got him to ask a few (players) … to just see how I’m going and if I should move on.”

Good friend and teammate Patrick Dangerfield also weighed in on what Selwood meant to him and the Geelong Football Club.

“He is a close friend, and a mentor, but it’s difficult to articulate what it means to play alongside Joel, you just walk taller because he gives you so much confidence,” Dangerfield said.

“So much of our success as a club over the last 10 years is because of him. 

“If we all aimed to have a little bit of Joel in each of us the world would be a better place.”

Coach Chris Scott was in awe of what Selwood has achieved over his glittering 16-season career, saying he is one of the greatest players he’s ever seen.

“I said earlier this season leading into Joel’s 350th match that he is the greatest player I have seen, and I haven’t changed my mind,” Scott said. 

“I feel so privileged to have worked with such a great captain and in terms of impact on a football club and support to a senior coach, I can’t think of anyone better.

“He’s an extraordinary player and has always prioritised others over individual achievements. I feel enormously proud and thankful to have been part of Joel Selwood’s career.”  

Selwood became the 12th player in history to win a premiership in their first and last seasons.

Selwood also shares the most wins as teammates with Tom Hawkins in V/AFL history, having played over 300 games together.

Selwood’s accolades

  • Four-time premiership player
  • 355 AFL games – Geelong’s games record holder
  • Longest-serving V/AFL captain – 245 games (2012-2022)
  • Six-time All-Australian (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Three-time Carji Greeves Medal (2010, 2013, 2014)
  • 2007 Rising Star Winner
  • 7th in all-time disposals – 8,746 (avg. of 24.64)
  • 2nd most handballs – 4,399 (avg. of 12.39)
  • Leading most tackles – 1,799 (avg. of 5.07)
  • 4th Inside 50s – 1,436 (avg. of 4.05)
  • Leading most clearances – 1,844 (avg. of 5.19)
  • 3rd in contested possessions – 4,000 (avg. of 11.22)

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