As the longest-serving captain in Geelong’s proud history, Joel is undisputedly one of the league's most courageous, influential and successful leaders.
Widely celebrated for his professionalism, leadership and football brain, Joel has steadily built one of the most impressive resumes in VFL/AFL history and is recognised as a key element in creating a remarkable culture of success at the Geelong Football Club.
From a gifted sporting family in Bendigo, he and his three brothers have all played football at the highest level, driving and inspiring each other to be the best they can be.
He displayed athletic talent from an early age, winning multiple State junior hurdling titles, but it was footy in the backyard with his brothers that ultimately shaped his sporting future. The third of four boys, he became accustomed to dealing with bigger and stronger opponents from a young age.
But his natural talent and fearlessness were only part of the puzzle. In the lead up to being drafted in 2006, he was recognised by talent scouts for his meticulous and dedicated preparation. All these elements combined to see AFL Talent guru Kevin Sheehan describe him as ‘the best 17 year old in Australia.’
Joel was awarded a scholarship with the prestigious AIS-AFL Academy, his leadership traits self-evident from an early age as he captained his older teammates in the Under-18s International Rules Series in Ireland.
Selected with the 7th pick in the 2006 National Draft, he debuted in Round 1 of his rookie year, a stellar season that would see him claim the AFLPA Best First Year Player Award and the first of his three premierships, all won by the tender age of just 23.
The individual and team accolades have continued to come throughout his career, and Selwood is regarded as one of the game’s most respected and courageous players and leaders of all time.
A member of the elite 300-game club, he is a six-time All-Australian, three-time Club Best & Fairest and a four-time AFLPA Most Courageous Player.
His personal legacy is well and truly secured, but his passion to take his beloved Cats back up to the top of the mountain still burns deep inside.
Having grown up in country Victoria, Joel has a love for the outdoors and a passion for all things sport, particularly horse racing. He also loves spending time with his family and, together with his wife Brit, invests time supporting events and charities around the Geelong region, whilst also traveling the world in their downtime.
Highly sought after in the corporate and charity worlds, he has held many of his ambassadorial roles for up to 15 years, further testament to the value he places on long-term relationships and the value he provides to organisations.
Selwood is currently an ambassador for NAB, Asics, Ford & One Touch and has worked with the Cotton On Foundation for many years to empower youth through quality education. In addition, his role as the NAB Auskick Ambassador has seen him mentor, guide, support and influence both male & female Auskickers over the last 14 years around Australia by assisting them to believe in themselves to reach their full potential.
Joel and his brothers have also released a series of kids books, ‘The Selwood boys,’ which encourage young kids to read, whilst providing them with some entertainment along the way.
An influential role model, Joel will continue to lead and engage within the greater Australian community whilst also doing volunteer and ambassador work for various organisations and brands.
My attitude was not to waste any time. I wanted to play straight away and be respected. It was a pretty simple approach – just get to work and show the guys that I’m going to be OK and I’ll help you out.