ADAM Selwood hopes to use his 187 games of experience with the West Coast Eagles in a development coaching role at an AFL club in the next phase of his football life.
Selwood – the former Bendigo Pioneer – has retired after 11 years with the Eagles.
But while his playing days may have come to an end, the 29-year-old has now turned his attention to pursuing a coaching role at an AFL club, be it in Perth – his home since he was drafted in November, 2002 – or in Melbourne.
“Being part of the leadership group for such a long time at West Coast, I probably saw going down the coaching path as a bit of a continuation after I finished playing,” Selwood said this week.
“During my time as a leader at West Coast, I really enjoyed helping the young players adjust to AFL and progress as players and realise their dreams, but also developing them as people.
“Some of the greatest satisfaction of my career was seeing young players get into the system, make their debut and become more confident in themselves as players and people.
“I don’t think senior coaching is something I’d head to down the track, but at the moment, I feel as though that teaching aspect and helping young players adjust to the AFL system in a development coaching role is something I’d like to get involved in.”
Selwood has only been retired for two weeks, but the signs are already promising for a post-playing career in the AFL, just as his twin brother, Troy, has been able to do at Geelong in the Cats’ football operations department following his 75 games with Brisbane.
“I was lucky enough I was able to contribute to AFL for long time, so I was able to build up a wealth of knowledge,” Selwood said.
“I’ve loved my time here in Perth. Apart from growing up in Bendigo, it’s the longest time I’ve spent in any one place.
“I’m not homesick or anything like that if something was to come up over here, but the challenge of moving to a new city also has a positive edge to it.”
Selwood has had initial discussions with West Coast about a possible role, but that will be put on hold until the Eagles sign a new coach to take over from John Worsfold, who stood down last week.
“West Coast has to employ a senior coach, who will then have to build the structure of how he wants the football department to look,” Selwood said.
“We’ve had some initial discussions about a possible role at the club, but the new coach’s structures may or may not include me.
“So you’ve got to keep your options open, and my next decision will probably last five years where I can make a good contribution to a club.
“I got to the end of my career really satisified that I got everything out of myself, and now I’m excited to step foot into a new chapter.”
While Selwood hasn’t got anything left in the tank from an AFL playing perspective, he believes he’s still capable of playing at a lower level, similar to Troy, who combines his job at Geelong with that as captain of the Cats’ VFL team.
“I’m capable of running around for a few more years and still enjoy playing football,” Selwood said.
“When I went back and played some games with East Perth this year, I enjoyed playing with that little bit of less pressure, and know the importance of having a strong on-field leader who can teach young players what they need to be doing, especially around stoppages and in some defensive aspects.
“I see that as some good leverage for myself in that I can add something a bit different to a coaching structure where for the first couple of years I could be teaching players on the job, rather than in reviews.
“I’d be pretty keen to kick around for another year or two.”
Selwood bowed out from the Eagles in round 23 with an 86-point loss to Adelaide – ironically, the same team he debuted against in round 19, 2003.
His CV includes premiership player in 2006, International Rules representative (2006, 2008), Rising Star nominee in 2005 and third in the best and fairest (2007, 2008), while Selwood is proud he ended his career a one-club player.
“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for West Coast and I’m glad to have been a one-club player,” said Selwood, who was last weekend named among the Bendigo Pioneers’ best 30 players of the past 21 years.
“It was really satisfiying walking off the field after that last game knowing I’ve given it my all for the Eagles and I’m really proud that the club, players and supporters have respected and appreciated the job I’ve done.
“I was exhausted and probably the happiest bloke to retire knowing it’s now time for others to take the club forward and it puts the full stop on my career.
“I’ve got to the end of the road there as a player, but I’m happy to jump in the car if I have to and head to another club for my career as a coach.
“It’s an exciting time.”