Four-time premiership Cat Joel Selwood was always “gifted”, according to his mum who spoke amid joyful post-match scenes in the Geelong rooms.
Selwood’s mum Maree laughed as she recalled how her determined son would play footy at every opportunity.
Maree said not even Selwood’s early struggle as an idiopathic toe walker – where young children walk on their tiptoes for no neurological reason – would keep her son from playing in the backyard.
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“He was always different and this is no lie,” she told 7Sport.
“Just from a little young fella, two years old, he’d throw (the footy) up, catching it and playing like that.
“He had a bit of a complaint with his legs – he was a idiopathic toe walker and he had to wear things on his legs – and that didn’t stop him neither.
“He’d race around and kick it.”
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Admitting she’d been “crying all afternoon”, Maree said she was so proud of her son’s achievements.
“I think it’s his good upbringing – he’s a good country boy,” she laughed.
Selwood is the youngest of four boys – who all played in the AFL, and his mum says there was no stopping him joining his brothers when he was younger.
“When he went to Auskick, he shouldn’t have been to Auskick and he went there and when I got back to pick him up, he was up in the next group!” Maree said.
“That happened for a couple of weeks so (older brothers) Troy and Adam said, ‘No, he’s not coming anymore’.
“But we didn’t stop him. He’s just had a real talent, he’s been very gifted.”
Selwood’s pregnant wife Brit said she couldn’t put into words what the victory meant for the skipper and the club.
“I think my emotions have said it all – I haven’t stopped crying!” she said.
“I’m just so happy for him.”
Selwood had one of the moments to remember pre-game when he carried former teammate Gary Ablett Jnr’s son out through the banner.
Little Levi Ablett was diagnosed with a rare degenerative illness at birth that Ablett Jr and partner Jordan have previously described as having a “very short life expectancy”.
“(Joel) had that idea (to have Levi out with them) and he took it to the footy club and he just wanted to do it for Levi, and Gary just to send Gary off because he didn’t get a send off,” Brit explained.