GEELONG captain Joel Selwood says the competitiveness and will to win that has been the hallmark of his AFL career started in the backyard of the family’s Bendigo home with his three brothers.
And it’s that backyard that was the grounding for four brothers to go on and play AFL that has provided the inspiration for a new children’s book series under the banner of The Selwood Boys.
The four Selwood brothers – twins Adam and Troy, Joel and Scott – returned to their hometown on Sunday for a book signing for the first two of the series, Battle Royale and The Miracle Goal, written by Tony Wilson.
“We never knew it would pan out like this, but we grew up in a normal family, we enjoyed being outside and playing all different types of sport, but it (having brothers) gave us all sorts of things that would take us along in life… competitiveness and the will to win is what we got off each other,” Joel said at the signing.
“To get together and be able to put our thoughts across, this is the best way of doing it. We thought this (children’s book) had a market and probably shows more of our side in getting back to kids. We’re fortunate to be in the position to be able to do it.”
Scott is the youngest of the four brothers and was just 12 when both Troy (Brisbane) and Adam (West Coast) were drafted in 2002.
“I used to get pushed around a little bit, but Christmas looks very different now when we have a wrestle, but it’s very good fun,” Scott said.
The Selwood Boys is published by Harper Collins, which describes the series as one for “every kid who has had to deal with younger siblings, older siblings, the very unfairness of life itself.”
The third and fourth books in the Selwood Boys series will be released in March.
Between the brothers, they have played 630 AFL games – Joel (228), Adam (187), Scott (140) and Troy (75).
Joel and Scott are both still playing with Geelong, and while Adam and Troy have now retired, they are both still involved in the AFL system.
Troy is Geelong’s Academy and VFL manager and will run Geelong’s VFL women’s team next year.
Adam has been a development coach at West Coast for the past three years and is about to start a new role with the Eagles’ Next Generation Academy that involves mentoring 13 to 18-year-old indigenous and multi-cultural players.
“For all of us to be still in footy in some capacity… it’s a very addictive industry and we’re very lucky we’ve been able to share the same profession for the past 15 years,” Troy said.