Joel Selwood could move to defence in the latter stages of his career.
Joel Selwood could move to defence in the latter stages of his career.

Next Hodge? Cats coach confirms skipper’s shock experiment

GEELONG coach Chris Scott says the Cats are willing to trial moving veteran midfielder Joel Selwood into defence.

On the weekend, the Cats tested Selwood in defence, with the 30-year-old taking four kick outs in their win over Brisbane, with Selwood having only taken one in his entire career leading up to Saturday's game.

With the Cats' strong midfield depth, Scott says they will continue to test Selwood in defence, as a try out to a possible move in the latter stages of his AFL career.

"We've been talking about it for a few weeks," Scott said on Monday.

"It forced our hand a little bit this week because we lost (Tom) Stewart so early … but there's a little bit of a pointer to what we might think of with Joel towards the end of his career.

"He's just so competitive and so good in the contest, we like the way he uses the ball as well, so he's got the attributes to play there. We know he can play virtually all the four spots well, but it just gives us a little bit more flexibility.

"For a long time there, we were just so vulnerable if we moved him out of the middle, and now I think it's a reflection on the confidence we've got on the depth of our midfield."

Joel Selwood has been a star in the midfield. Photo: Michael Klein
Joel Selwood has been a star in the midfield. Photo: Michael Klein

Scott suggested that while moving Selwood to defence was an option up their sleeve for finals, he suggested that playing tricks in finals doesn't help.

"I think when you get to finals it's almost like you're admitting defeat if you're trying to trick the opposition. What we've been doing hasn't worked and turn it upside down," he said.

"I think you've got to have a little bit more faith in your system. I think we've been a bit fortunate with the injuries we've had that we've been forced to try and few things and it's worked."

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson believes the influence that an experienced head, such as Luke Hodge, can have on a side is massive and that Selwood could play a similar role for the Cats.

Could Joel Selwood play a Luke Hodge role in defence?
Could Joel Selwood play a Luke Hodge role in defence?

"The leader across half back can help too. Hodge across half back, he played some incredible inspiring football on the inside, from a leadership point of view and coaching against him, it almost went to another level when we came and went across half back and marshalled the troops," Richardson said.

"Particularly in moments of the game when you think you might've lost momentum and want to regain momentum.

"The Demos certainly have that experience back there and certainly it's helped their group and I can imagine Joel behind the footy, not only for the stuff that you mention, the inspirational and physical stuff but his ability to organise, given that he's one out one back, as opposed to being in there and just smacking into them at times.

Chris Scott during the International Rules series. Photo: James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images
Chris Scott during the International Rules series. Photo: James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images

Scott also revealed that the origin of Selwood's move into the back half came about through his coaching in the recent International Rules series.

"We played his behind the ball in the International Rules series and the did it a lot better than I expected. He and I have talked about it, even more jokingly and the more we talked about it, the more we saw."


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