Joel Selwood's unexpected career move after AFL retirement

Joel Selwood is pictured with his wife, Brit Selwood.
Joel Selwood is taking a job with the Melbourne Storm after his retirement from the AFL following Geelong's 2022 premiership win. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Geelong champion Joel Selwood has made his first career move after announcing his retirement from the AFL in the wake of the Cats' 2022 premiership victory.

Selwood departed the game as a legend not only of the AFL, but of Geelong, after captaining the club for more than 200 games and in several premiership campaigns.

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The triumph over the Sydney Swans marked the perfect time for the 34-year-old to call time on his illustrious career, but many pondered what he would do next.

Those questions have since been answered, with Selwood set to join NRL powerhouse Melbourne Storm as a leadership coach.

It won't be the first time the Storm have looked to a former AFL great to hold the title, with former Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell working in the same capacity for several years prior.

Melbourne assistant coach Stephen Kearney took over the duties for the past two years before his departure at the end of last season.

It's the latest cross-code sharing of experience, with Storm legend Billy Slater having worked with St Kilda in the past as well.

“I’m really excited to be joining Storm. I’ve been watching them and been in envy of what the club has been able to achieve for a long time,” Selwood said.

“When the opportunity come up, I saw it as a great chance to get involved in something a bit different in an environment that is so well run.

“I was impressed with the presentation Frank (Ponissi) and Craig (Bellamy) made and have already been welcomed at the club when I visited AAMI Park earlier this week. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the playing group and getting into the season.”

Joel Selwood to join Melbourne Storm as leadership coach

Selwood will be tasked with helping ensure the Storm's high standards are maintained after the departures of several high-profile players.

Brandon Smith has signed for the Roosters next season, while Melbourne will also farewell Felise Kaufusi, Jesse Bromwich and Kenny Bromwich, with that trio heading north to join Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins.

Football general manager Frank Ponissi said Selwood, through his time with Geelong, offered a lot to the Storm.

"We knew our two clubs had a lot of similarities, not just in sustained success but the values we each hold, and Joel has been a constant driver of those values for a long time," Ponissi said.

"His leadership qualities and values off the field are just as impressive and have been very well documented over the years which was also very important to us in speaking to Joel about this role."

After 355 games for Geelong across 16 AFL seasons, including premierships in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2022, Selwood became the third club captain to retire on a flag-winning note.

Predecessors Tom Harley and Cameron Ling both called time on their own illustrious careers in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Selwood will go down not just as a champion for Geelong but also of the AFL itself, having surpassed Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck for the most AFL finals played (40), as well as breaking Carlton great Stephen Kernahan's record for most games captained at VFL/AFL level at 226.

The six-time All-Australian has captained Geelong since 2012, and won the club's best and fairest on three occasions.

His off-field work has also won praise within the AFL community, having been this season's recipient of the Jim Stynes community leadership award.

With AAP

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