Geelong coach Chris Scott has acknowledged that his skipper Joel Selwood is frustrated by a rare on-field lean patch from the Cats.
Selwood played in the Cats’ drought-breaking 2007 AFL premiership in his debut season and has seen finals action in each of his first eight years at the club.
But with Geelong currently sitting a game and a half outside the top eight in 11th position ahead of a tough encounter against the surging Western Bulldogs, they face the prospect of missing the post-season action for the first time since 2006.
Making matters worse is that Selwood will sit out Saturday’s home game against the Bulldogs after accepting a one-match ban for his chicken-wing tackle on North Melbourne’s Sam Wright.
Selwood admitted it wasn’t a good look, and appeared to be the action of a frustrated footballer.
“Joel has always been a combative player,” Scott said on Tuesday.
“He is a ball player and I think the best players in the competition play with a bit of a ruthless edge.
“Whether he’s playing that way because he’s a bit more frustrated than he has been in the past is an interesting question.
“I think he’s more frustrated now than he has been in previous seasons for obvious reasons.
“You tend to be less frustrated when your team is playing the way you want and you win most weeks.
“I back his professionalism, his work ethic and his leadership to make sure that that frustration doesn’t translate into actions that hurt the team.”
George Horlin-Smith and Billie Smedts are among the midfielders in line to replace Selwood for the game against the Bulldogs.
Key onballer Mitch Duncan – who has missed the past six matches with a broken foot – could also return as soon as this weekend.