Geelong ‘icon’ deserves more respect

Geelong captain Joel Selwood deserves more respect as an “icon” of the game, according to Cats coach Chris Scott, who has launched a strong defence of his under-fire captain.

Selwood was the target of criticism this week in the wake of two on-field actions in the last-gasp win against the Western Bulldogs that resulted in fines worth a combined $3000.

He was cited by the match review panel for making contact with Bailey Dale’s face and stomping Taylor Duryea’s leg.

Critics lashed Selwood for the incidents, with Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw labelling them “two of the worst things you can do on a football field”.

But Scott, who had spoken to Selwood, said his captain had acknowledged his actions as “mistakes” and they should not tarnish his reputation over more than 300 stellar games in any way.

“Joel is an icon of the game and his reputation is important to him and important to us,” Scott said on Tuesday.

“The point I’ll repeat is that humans in general, but footy players, even good ones, captains, legends of the game, make mistakes, and they should put their hands up for that which is what Joel did in particular with one of those incidents.

Tony Shaw on Joel Selwood's $3000 fine:

"If that was Toby Greene, he'd probably get 3 weeks. They're two of the worst things you can do on the football field."

Joel Selwood is set to come under scrutiny for making forceful contact with Bulldog Bailey Dale's head.

Watch the footage: https://t.co/HojXtUVfc4

“The second one, where he accidentally stood on someone, was a genuine mistake, and I think it’s incumbent in people in the footy industry to treat Joel Selwood with a level of respect whereby when he says something, they believe him.”

Scott said Selwood had handled the overwhelming amount of criticism “like the ultimate pro”.

“It won’t have any bearing on him at all,” he said.

“But I think the broader issues, over the long term, if people are saying with a straight face that it tarnishes his reputation, I think that reflects more on them than it does on him.”

Emotions were high following the victory over the Bulldogs, sealed by an after-the-siren goal from Gary Rohan.

Scott was extremely expressive in the coach’s box, and he said he would never shy away from those sort of responses that were the result of a big moment for his team and for Rohan too.

“Our game is difficult for the people involved, there are lots of periods which test your resilience,” Scott said.

“I have always held the view that the really good times, if you can achieve them, make up for all those challenges. I am not going to hold back when you experience a situation like that because it’s rare.

“I enjoyed the moment as a one-eyed fan, but \I enjoyed it for Gary Rohan too. There’s a whole range of ways you can show mental resilience, toughness in a game of footy. That’s clearly one of them.

“When you have the fortunes of your team on your shoulders, to have the mental fortitude to go back and execute like that. We were pretty pumped for him.”

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