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Young Cat keeping clean record

By Ben Broad 11:35 AM Tue 19 Aug, 2008

Joel Selwood's in and under style keeps him in the gaze of the men in white

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RECORDS are nothing new to the Geelong team of the past two seasons.

Last year young gun Joel Selwood played a leading role in the Year of the Cat, his NAB Rising Star win some extra icing on the club’s astonishing AFL season.

But the 20-year-old ball magnet is on track to set a new mark of a different kind – possibly this Sunday against North Melbourne – should he continue to throw his body in at the footy at his current rate.

In 2008 Selwood has received 52 free kicks from umpires – an indication of his desire to win the ball for his side.

Perhaps just as staggering is the fact that in his vigorous pursuit of the footy, he has only conceded 16 free kicks.

The record for most free kicks paid to a player in a single season is Luke Darcy who, in the 2003 season, earned 54 frees from umpires.

In fact during Darcy’s stellar period of 2001-03, the former Western Bulldogs champion received 50 or more free kicks each year.

In recent weeks Selwood has firmed significantly in Brownlow medal betting.

While his high-disposal count and quality of possession has caught attention, it is also his aggressive, hard-at-it approach – and the fact he is often the last one getting up off the bottom of a pack – that is certain to catch the umpire’s eye during matches.

Reigning Brownlow Medallist Jimmy Bartel believes his younger teammate will poll well given he was “always in the eye” of the whistle-blowers during a match.

“I think he’s a great chance,” Bartel said of Selwood’s Brownlow prospects.

“I know from playing next to him that there’s probably about nine or 10 games that he probably should poll votes, so normally that’s enough to get someone close to getting over the line.

“He’s had a fantastic season and he just does those hard things that really catch your eye.”

Selwood was backed into $13 last week but, after most observers believe his 25-possession game against the Swans would not have attracted votes from the umpires, he has eased in betting back out to $17.
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