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New Top Leader


Selwood reminiscent of Bartel

By Jennifer Witham 5:35 PM Wed 05 Sep, 2007

Joel Selwood against the Lions



GEELONG assistant coach Brendan McCartney believes NAB AFL Rising Star Joel Selwood could be as good as Brownlow prospect Jimmy Bartel.

McCartney said Selwood 's "attack on the ball" was reminiscent of the more experienced Cat.

He also said Selwood' showed his potential from his first moments at the club.  

"It's been very satisfying to pick up a boy so early in the draft and see him make an impression, probably as far back as November pre-season, or just after he was drafted," McCartney said after Selwood was named the NAB AFL Rising Star on Wednesday.

"In December and in pre-season drills, he made his older teammates sit up and take notice with the way he conducted himself at training and the way he handled contest drills and drills where you had to be good in traffic and know a fair bit about the game.

"He's just grown from that. He's been a real joy to work with, and not just with myself, I know all the coaches have really enjoyed the year with him."

McCartney also said Selwood's consistency across the season was what set him apart from the rest of Geelong's impressive crop of emerging stars.

"We've got some terrific players down there, and at times, they've all made massive impacts on the game, relative to a young player in their first year," he said.

"Probably the difference with this young fella is that he's been able to sustain it over a whole year.

"I think young people come into the game and they play one or two or three or four great games, but Joel, and I think his brother said it in the paper beautifully, just hasn't put in a bad game.

"Each week we've put him out there and he's just maintained his attack on the ball, fitted in with how the team's played and has just wanted to win, week-in, week-out, which is a credit to him."

McCartney agreed with suggestions Selwood is a "ready-made leader", and said he has already shown signs he is capable of taking control of the side later in his career.

"You'd have to say yes, because he sees the game well, communicates to his teammates in games, plays well, plays to win," he said.

"We've only had him for a short time, so we don't pretend to know everything that's in his heart and his head, but I don't think anything will get in the way of him wanting to achieve long-term success for him and his team.

"That's all the trademarks of a good leader."


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