AFL captaincy mark within Selwood's reach

·3-min read

Geelong skipper Joel Selwood is a chance to surpass Stephen Kernahan's record for most games as an AFL/VFL club captain after signing a new one-year contract with the Cats.

But the combative midfielder is no certainty to retain the captaincy in 2022, declaring he will again sit down with Geelong leaders at the end of the season to discuss what is best for the club.

Former Carlton great Kernahan holds the record with 226 games as captain of the Blues, with Essendon's Dick Reynolds (224) and St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt (220) not far behind.

Selwood, who will return after a week off in Thursday night's clash with Fremantle, sits fourth on the list with 215 games as Geelong's leader over 10 seasons.

The 33-year-old is currently supported by joint vice-captains Patrick Dangerfield and Mark Blicavs in a seven-man Cats leadership group, which includes Mitch Duncan, Mark O'Connor, Tom Stewart and Zach Tuohy.

"We weigh up that captaincy throughout that preseason period, whether it's me or someone else, and we'll look at it from there, but for now it's just about finishing this year well," Selwood said.

"We'll do what's best for the club ... and we've got a number of guys who could do it, I've got no doubt in that.

"Whether it's still helpful to them for me to do it and shoulder the load for a little bit, so then they can take over when need be, then I'm happy to do that too."

Selwood forecast on the eve of this season - his 15th since being taken as a first-round draft pick in 2006 - he would need rest periods at stages to get through a full 23-round campaign, plus finals.

That prediction came after the veteran had to be carefully managed through a difficult 2020 season, when he missed six matches through injury.

But Selwood has managed 15 of a possible 16 matches so far in 2021, leaving him in good shape heading towards another finals series.

"I feel good, I've had a good run at it with continuous training and I've just got to make sure that continues now for this last part of the year and then get a go at it next year," Selwood said.

"This year I've been smart with the management of what I do and been out there most sessions - I can't remember the last one really that I've missed.

"Last year ... I basically didn't train at all, I just went out and played, so it's been a while since we've had this run at it."

Selwood was due to qualify as an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year but never looked likely to leave Geelong.

He is one of the most decorated players in club history, having won three premierships, three best-and-fairest awards and six All-Australian selections.

Selwood says he is content with seeing out his playing days on one-year contracts and is in a good head space to continue on in pursuit of a fourth flag.

Selwood has played a total 325 games and is on track to become the Cats' all-time games record holder as he closes in on former teammate Corey Enright's mark (332).

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