Geelong coach Chris Scott has defended the reputation of club captain Joel Selwood. Image by Scott Barbour/AAP PHOTOS

Australian rules football

Cats dismiss criticism of skipper Selwood

2021-06-22 13:57:02

Geelong coach Chris Scott is adamant Joel Selwood won’t be affected by the recent criticism of his reputation when the star captain Brisbane in a Thursday night AFl showdown at the Gabba.

Selwood was fined a combined $3000 by the AFL’s match review officer for two separate incidents in last week’s after-the-siren win over the Western Bulldogs.

The 33-year-old accepted a $1000 sanction for pushing his fist into Bailey Dale’s head as the Bulldogs defender was pinned on the ground in a tackle.

Selwood also copped a $2000 fine for stumbling over the leg of Taylor Duryea when the former Hawks player had fallen to the ground after taking a mark.

Criticism of Selwood’s actions came thick and fast with Collingwood legend Tony Shaw even describing them as two of the worst things a player can do on a football field.

Shaw said Selwood could have broken Duryea’s leg if the contact was made in a slightly different spot.

Dual North Melbourne premiership star David King was also scathing of Selwood’s actions.

Scott conceded Selwood made a mistake in the first incident involving Dale.

But he was angry at how the second incident – when Selwood stumbled over Duryea’s leg – had been portrayed.

“Joel is an icon of the game. His reputation is important to him and it’s important to us,” Scott said.

“Humans in general, but footy players, even good ones – captains, legends of the game – make mistakes, and they should put their hand up for that, which is what Joel did, in particular for one of those incidents. 

“But the second one where he accidentally stood on someone was a genuine mistake.

“And I think it’s actually incumbent on people in the footy industry to treat Joel Selwood with a level of respect whereby when he says something, they believe him.”

Scott said the commentary hadn’t affected Selwood heading into the game against the Lions.

“He handles it like the ultimate pro, so it won’t have any bearing on him at all,” Scott said. 

“But I think the broader issue over the long term, if people are saying with a straight face that it tarnishes his reputation, I think that reflects more on them than it does on him.”

The Cats were dealt a huge blow when star midfielder Mitch Duncan was ruled out for an extended period with a right knee injury.

Last week’s medical sub Shaun Higgins could come into the 22 to fill the void, but Scott said no one could truly replace Duncan.

“I’ve always been a believer that it’s impossible to replace your best players like for like, and Mitch is certainly in that category,” Scott said.