Noteworthy, however Edwards and Selwood are each milestone worthy males | AFL

Two champions of this sport, two males taken in the identical draft however with fully completely different profession trajectories, celebrated essential milestones over the weekend.

Shane Edwards was relieved and carried away after a shocking comeback win over Brisbane. Edwards was virtually a Brisbane participant himself. The Lions chief recruiter was determined to get him, however he was overtaken by outstanding figures from the membership. They settled on Albert Proud, who ended up in jail.

Few footballers have been so protected and so damaging in heavy site visitors. He would swerve, swing and go across the regular chain of possession along with his lengthy, weighted handballs. Richmond has by no means been an excellent crew. That they had blue collars that they may swing and kick ahead. It was a swarming, brutally environment friendly kick. However Edwards was the purest of footballers. In a crew that at all times performed in a rush, he was at all times unhurried: their Pendlebury, their Mitchell. For any of us who’ve labored on the decrease ranges, if we might wave a magic wand and be blessed with a expertise, it will invariably be that: the flexibility of the sport to decelerate round us.

However generally you needed to pressure to see it. It was straightforward to overlook. He was labeled “undervalued” so typically that it obtained to the purpose that he was about to be overrated. At matches in Richmond, your eye was instantly drawn to the superstars. Edwards seemed higher with a rewind button. You’d assessment a recreation passage that opened an essential match and the group and commentators would gurgling about Martin. However Edwards was at all times there someplace. It was invariably his contact – the cleanest contact, the decisive contact – that freed the kick and propelled Richmond ahead. Even on Sunday, within the midst of all of the chaos of the final quarter, he was a chilly head and a sensible distributor.

In contrast to Edwards, Joel Selwood was an immediate star. In his first coaching match, as he was stapled to the border line, the teaching employees needed to warn him towards shelling headlong into the packs. He nodded, wiped his blood, re-entered the fray, and almost had his head eliminated. He was constitutional.

Selwood has been enjoying like a bull in warmth for 15 years. We needs to be cautious about praising this facet of the sport of him. There are such a lot of footballers whose lives are turned the wrong way up on account of headshots. Simply this week, Jay Schulz detailed the toll of over 40 concussions: despair, insomnia and reminiscence loss.

However by some means Selwood continues to be standing. He has solely missed 30 video games since 2007. He has by no means missed greater than 4 in a row. There have been different gamers who’ve performed with the identical ferocity and with the identical recklessness. However they typically did not final very lengthy. The physique, the pinnacle and the mind merely can’t stand it.

It may be argued that he’s essentially the most vital Geelong footballer within the membership’s historical past. Polly Farmer has returned to Perth. Gary Ablett Snr is lacking. His son went to the Gold Coast. When Selwood arrived, it was a membership on the final warning of him. He was “provincial, parochial, pleased with mediocrity, but in addition poisoned by it,” James Button wrote in his official story. The 2007 defeat to North Melbourne was a watershed second. In his fifth recreation, Selwood was simply Geelong’s finest participant that day. He carried a metal and a starvation that generally bordered on disturbing. He modified the membership, he led it, he dragged him into rivalry, kicking and screaming, yr after yr. Lots of the groups that completed within the high 4 beneath his captain had been fairly restricted. He would take them over the sting in video games they did not have the fitting to win. He took them to the preliminary finals the place that they had no enterprise. Every year, specialists stated that Geelong’s closet was bare and that Selwood’s physique had been shot at. He used to return yearly.

Few footballers have squeezed extra out of themselves. Few footballers have been so profitable, so early of their profession. However unusually, my lasting recollections of him will not be from the wins. I’ll do not forget that he collapsed as if he had simply been delivered to his knees the evening Kennett’s curse was lifted. I’ll keep in mind when he went to Footy Classificated with the steam popping out of his ears, whereas all his teammates had been in turps and disguised as Ewok, after the Cats had been offered off in 2014. I’ll keep in mind the blood, the bandages, the trainers being shooed off, the fixed whistling and complaining about her bending over.

And I’ll keep in mind these eyes. Tim Boyle as soon as stated that the one individual in soccer with such eyes was the previous captain, Luke Hodge. There was distance in these eyes, he wrote, a “desert” that was virtually unnerving. You do not see such eyes on individuals gathering round water coolers or handing out canapés. They’re the eyes of these born to compete, combat and lead.

They’re irreconcilable with the amiable and respectful interviewee we noticed on Saturday, the person who trotted by way of all 4 quarters of the central sq. and thanked his followers. For a short second, nonetheless, that skinny patina of courtesy cracked, her jaw jammed, and his eyes blazed. “Proper guys, sufficient of all this,” he seemed like he was saying. With Edwards there was a way of objective, of satisfaction with a job effectively finished. With Selwood, it is tougher to think about that it’s going to ever finish and that it’s going to by no means be sufficient.

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