It is no coincidence that the first 200 games of Geelong skipper Joel Selwood’s career have coincided with the most successful era in the AFL club’s long and proud history.
Ever since becoming the youngest member of the drought-breaking 2007 premiership team in his debut year, Selwood was spoken about as a captain-in-waiting.
The job officially became his at the tender age of 23 when Cameron Ling stepped aside after lifting the premiership cup in 2011.
Selwood was already leading by example anyway.
He will continue to do so on Saturday night at Simonds Stadium when his 200th match will likely be overshadowed by the return to action of Sydney superstar Adam Goodes.
“I’m not a believer that you lift for certain games,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said on Wednesday.
“As a great Geelong person said – there’s no such thing as milestone games, you should be trying as hard as you can every single week.
“If there’s any doubt over our effort or mindset going into the game then I’d like to think Joel might be extra motivation.
“But I’d be shattered if we were going in requiring that extra motivation, playing a top four-team who’ve been one of the benchmarks in the competition over the last couple of years.”
Scott expects the 27-year-old Selwood to retain the captain’s armband for several years yet.
“It feels like it’s only the beginning to an extent – 200 games for such a young captain, such an influential player,” he said.
“Clearly over the last couple of years we’ve been moving into a different phase of not only his career but our club’s position within the competition.
“He can lead this club for a long time.
“I think we all should acknowledge that it’s been a pretty good 200 games in the context of the AFL competition and history, but we’re more excited about the next 100.”