Joel Selwood retires after AFL Grand Final win, Geelong Cats fans left devastated

Every fairytale needs an ending.

Joel Selwood has reportedly decided to retire and will announce the news on Wednesday.

The Cats champion is going out in dream fashion following Geelong’s premiership victory — his fourth grand final win as a player.

The 34-year-old played in a record 40th career final in the victory over the Swans in what turned out to be his 355th and final match in the AFL.

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It is news every Cats fan has dreaded since speculation began last month that he was wrestling with a decision to retire.

Geelong has announced a media conference will be held at GMHBA Stadium at 1pm (AEST).

The news comes as no shock to the football world but it will still go down like a bomb with Geelong fans.

He was seen in tears after the grand final win in a sign many commentators saw as a clear indication he was walking into retirement.

Selwood could hardly keep it together in an interview with Seven after the match.

“Sorry,” he said, composing himself.

“Man, it’s been … They’re so hard to win. They’re so hard to win. Every side says it, but I think we deserved one.

“Just been bashing away. We don’t apologise to being up there, having a crack at it each year. So many, please get around all of them. They all have great stories.”

He shrugged off direct questions about retirement after the game and kept the spotlight on the rest of the team.

Speculation has already turned to what the six-time All-Australian’s next career move will be with suggestions he could be headed into coaching.

Carlton legend Stephen Silvagni told SEN on Wednesday: “Every club in the AFL will pick up the phone and probably have a chat to him”.

Demons legend Garry Lyon said: “I don’t think there is an organisation in this country that wouldn’t be clamouring for his services given how highly held he is right now”.

His career spanned 16 seasons and there was an incredible gap of 15 years between his first premiership victory and his final one last week.

The footy world reacted with widespread admiration for the way the Geelong games record holder has conducted himself during his career.

Radio broadcaster Shane McInnes said on Twitter: “It’s hard to find too many players who have been as successful as they are inspirational. That’s why Joel Selwood stands out.

“A legacy left on the game and just as importantly, on the next generation of players.”

Sport journalist Kane Pittman posted: “Joel Selwood announcing his retirement is truly devastating but just makes Saturday even more perfect. Just an absolute giant of the game”.

Veteran football journalist Rohan Connolly wrote on Twitter: “What a career! Courageous, inspirational, incredibly consistent on the field, humble & selfless off it, Joel Selwood has made not just a club but AFL football a much better place for his presence.

“Congrats @joelselwood14, it’s been a privilege to watch you.”

The tributes kept pouring in.

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