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Joel Selwood wins the NAB AFL Rising Star award

6:12 PM Wed 05 Sep, 2007

NAB AFL Rising Star winner Joel Selwood

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GEELONG’S 19-year-old midfielder, Joel Selwood, has won the 2007 NAB AFL Rising Star award, becoming the first recipient of the Ron Evans Medal.

Selwood won the medal with 44 votes from Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury (37) and Melbourne’s Nathan Jones (17). Port Adelaide’s Justin Westhoff (10) was fourth, followed by West Coast’s Shannon Hurn (9).

Selwood debuted in round one and quickly found a regular place in the Cats’ midfield.

His statistics illustrate how he has become an important part of the side. His 83 tackles ranks third at the club; he ranked fourth in clearances with 60, sixth in goal assists with 15, seventh in hard-ball gets with 46 and eighth in marks with 98.

He played 18 matches during the home and away season and averaged 19 possessions a match. Selwood also kicked seven goals. He was nominated for the award in round five.

As well as winning the Ron Evans Medal, named after the late AFL chairman and presented by his widow Andrea, Selwood wins a personal investment portfolio and a dedicated personal banker, courtesy of National Australia Bank.

In becoming the 2007 NAB AFL Rising Star, Selwood has capped a stellar junior career. He was a member of the AIS-AFL Academy squad and captained the Under-17 Australian side against Ireland in 2005. Selwood won the Barassi Medal for best player during the tour.

 In 2005 he represented Vic Country in the 2005 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was named an All-Australian.

These credentials guaranteed him certain top 10 selection at the 2006 NAB AFL Draft. He was Geelong’s first selection - seventh overall - despite a knee injury restricting him to only three games with the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup in 2006.

Hailing from the Sandhurst Football Club in Bendigo, Selwood is the younger brother of Adam (West Coast) and Troy (Brisbane) and older brother to 17-year-old Scott, who is eligible to be drafted in November this year. Adam and Troy were Rising Star nominees in consecutive weeks in 2005.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson congratulated Selwood on his win.

“Joel has stepped in and from day one earned the respect of everyone at the club. The way he plays, the way he prepares and the way he conducts himself is first-class. He respects the game and that was evident from the first time I met him,” Thompson said.

“We were thrilled when we were able to draft him and he has fitted into our team as if he has been here for five years. To win the Ron Evans Medal is a deserved honour and I think he has clearly been the stand-out first-year player this season.

“He has been an integral part of our midfield and his hardness has set him apart from most first-year players. He has no fear and he uses the ball well,” he said.

“Our recruiting and coaching staff who have worked with Joel to improve his game also deserve credit and recognition. The great thing about Joel winning this award is that I know he will be back at training tomorrow totally unaffected by it, and that isn’t always easy when you’re a young player,” Thompson said.

NAB executive director and chief executive Ahmed Fahour said NAB was again proud to be associated with the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Geelong’s Joel Selwood, a young player whose spirit, courage and talent make him a worthy 2007 NAB AFL Rising Star,” he said.

“While there can only be one winner, all 22 young players nominated today should be congratulated on their achievements throughout the year, and for the hope and encouragement they’re providing their clubs and supporters.

“NAB is delighted to contribute to the development of AFL football through the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program and we look forward to celebrating Joel’s career success well into the future."

The NAB AFL Rising Star was voted by the All-Australian selection panel: Andrew Demetriou (chairman), Adrian Anderson, Rod Austin, Gerard Healy, Mark Bickley, Kevin Bartlett, Robert Walls, Chris Mainwaring and Kevin Sheehan (Rising Star selector only).
 
2007 NAB AFL Rising Star voting
1. Joel Selwood (Geelong) 44
2. Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) 37
3. Nathan Jones (Melbourne) 17
4. Justin Westhoff  (Port Adelaide) 10
5. Shannon Hurn (West Coast  ) 9
6. Jess Smith (Kangaroos) 7
7. Bryce Gibbs (Carlton) 6
8. Tom Williams (Western Bulldogs) 2
8. Patrick Ryder (Essendon) 2
10. Martin Clarke (Collingwood) 1

The NAB AFL Rising Star is the final stage of the NAB AFL Rising Star Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL. 

The NAB AFL Rising Star Program provides recognition and a clearly identifiable direction for a player's career, and comprises the following elements:

  • NAB AFL Rising Star
  • NAB AFL Draft
  • NAB AFL Draft Camp
  • NAB AFL Under 18 Championships
  • AIS-AFL Academy
  • NAB AFL Under 16 Championships
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