Little Joel – Biggest Heart


Photo of Joel Selwood and James Pavlou taken by Anna Pavlou


Blessed. That’s what I regard myself as, as a Cats supporter growing up in the golden era of Geelong.


And it’s all because of one man in particular, a hero in his own right, who has carried and continues to shine light on the Geelong name in the most honourable ways.


The first name that would come to Geelong supporters’ heads’ when you mention someone who personifies the ‘Geelong way’ is Joel Selwood.


‘Selsy’ as he’s affectionately known in the Players’ Stand of Kardinia Park, where I sit with my Dad, Uncle James, Aunty Maz and now Mitch and Tracey, has been the stalwart for our club for many seasons and will forever be our hero long after he has retired.


Little Joel, back in 2007, was never really ‘little’, if you think about it. He was a giant of the game in the making and it didn’t take long for the rest of the club – and the rest of the competition, to hold their heads a little higher when Selwood was around.


I remember reading in ‘The Mission 2’ book years ago and it mentioned how at the half-time huddle, Joel Selwood, a then 20-year-old, was speaking to the whole team, willing them, pushing them. Everyone then stood taller because Joel Selwood stood tallest.


His commanding and expecting energy to bring greatness to our club’s name is something the Cats collective admire and will forever be grateful for.


And yes, his accolades and awards prove that he is in fact one of the greatest to play our game, but they do not scratch the surface of the character who is Joel Selwood.


I think the Geelong faithful will agree that if we could bottle him up forever, we would. His love for the game, for our club and for our people, is something you just don’t find in every football club anymore.


In today’s fickle world of AFL, with players and loyalties changing yearly, I’m proud to know that Joel Selwood is a Cat through and through.


And while he is one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen play the game, more importantly, he is an even greater person, one who many look up to both on and off the field.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Anna Pavlou

Anna 'Pav' Pavlou is a current student and a born and bred Melburnian who has a passion for sport and sharing people's stories. She is an intern journalist for AFL VICTORIA and writes for The Roar, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA Media), the Mongrel Punt and is a Melbourne Cricket Club contributor. She also appears on North West FM 98.9 radio show. Most winter weekends you'll find her down at the Ross Gregory Oval in St Kilda, supporting Power House FC, who play in Division 2 in the VAFA. She works as the Division 2 writer for the VAFA. She completed work experience with 3AW Radio and has been published in The Age as well as with Carlton FC and Geelong Cats. Check out her website below for more sport pieces!


  1. I try very hard to dislike him. For being so bloody good and consistent and rising to the challenge always in big games at big moments. For sending his slow but solid older brother Adam to my Eagles along with his manic poor kicking younger brother Scott. I kept wanting to offer a 2 for 1 deal and now throw in Tim Kelly for good measure. I kept wanting to dislike lime for being dirty because he ducked tackles and was always bleeding. But then Shuey perfected the shoulder dive and I could never find any dirty acts just lots of hard tough ruthless football. So in the end I’ve come to greatly admire Joel Selwood and only dislike him for not following his brothers west.

  2. As grudging a concession as I’ve read in a long time, PB, but nevertheless gracious in the end. Well played!

  3. Paul Spinks says

    Well said, Anna.
    Strength of character sums it up for me.
    Sitting in the outer among opposition fans I can’t recall hearing a player so vilified – mostly by those who blindly emulated Dermot Brereton’s public character assassination.
    But, he’ll be remembered for courage and leadership, skill and endurance and the ability to get the Cats up with sheer force of will.

  4. Kasey Symons says

    There will be certain Selwoods (who may have donned the blue and gold!) I will cherish more… but he is certainly a champion. Well written Anna!

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