AFL icon Joel Selwood has finally addressed rumors he will join the Australian cricket team in England to help them win the Ashes next month after starting a storm of speculation by revealing he is in talks with coach Andrew McDonald in March.
The newly retired Cats great revealed ‘local Geelong boy’ McDonald has been ‘in touch for a long time’ as he announced he and partner Brit will be in Europe when the series takes place from June 16 .
‘They are [the Aussie team] are in a similar position to where the Cats are – they’ve got a lot of guys who are coming to the end of their careers and can find their way for the next couple of years,’ he explained at the time.
Selwood surprised AFL fans by taking up a position with the NRL’s Melbourne Storm soon after quitting footy, and his comments on cricket led many to believe another shock code switch is in the works for the four-time premiership-winner.
However, he exclusively told Daily Mail Australia that the rumors aren’t just wide of the mark – they’re completely unfounded.
‘That’s not true – there’s no truth to it whatsoever,’ he said.
Selwood (pictured with wife Brit and their baby son Joey) was in England while the Ashes were on, and spoke to Aussie cricket coach Andrew McDonald – but that was closer to helping to the national team to keep the urn
The Cats legend had the best possible end to his playing career when he led Geelong to a grand final demolition of Sydney last year (pictured)
‘We [he and Brit] going abroad on Sunday but it’s just a holiday. We’re going to Spain, France and then London for a long time.’
Many AFL fans still can’t fathom why the 34-year-old decided to help the Storm when every other club in the league was keen to secure his services – and he was candid when asked how his fans reacted. news colleague
‘They were a bit shocked – I mean, I was a bit shocked myself,’ admitted Selwood.
‘The opportunity to work at Bagyo is fantastic, they have values that align with mine.
‘It was more about the people, to jump in and work with Frank [Ponissi, general manager] and Craig [Bellamy, coach]see how long they last at the top.’
Asked if there was anything he learned from the Storm that he wishes he had known during his playing days with Geelong, Selwood identified one big difference between the two clubs.
The chance to work with Storm coach Craig Bellamy (pictured) at the NRL club was too good to turn down – but Selwood admits he even surprised himself with the code switch
Joey’s arrival has thrown Selwood’s exercise routine into disarray but he still looks good enough to run out for a game of footy – something he’s not ruling out in the future.
‘It’s very different – I played for Geelong and most of our games were in Melbourne, but the Storm have to travel every second week, so it’s a completely different programme,’ he said.
‘They have to take care of their bodies for a week, so a lot of work has to be done to maintain that.
‘The Storm have a lot of great people looking after their program, which is great to see.’
Self-care has also changed significantly for the former Cats skipper, who revealed the biggest change in his life now that he is no longer a professional athlete.
‘I’ve been exercising less – but I have to blame that [baby son] Joey more than anyone else,’ he joked.
‘I used to exercise for hours every day, now I get a chance for 20 minutes.
‘It’s completely different. I want to exercise more.’
The Aussie cricket team is pictured celebrating their Ashes series win after the fifth Test in Hobart in January
Selwood has taken such good care of his body during his playing days that many fans and fans are confident that he can continue, especially after his great performance in last year’s grand final.
And he told Daily Mail Australia he wouldn’t close the door on returning to the field – although if he did, his next game would certainly not take place at a packed MCG.
Several big former players including Luke Hodge, Kane Cornes and Eddie Betts have pulled on their boots again to help struggling country and suburban clubs, and the Cats legend is open to the idea.
‘Maybe in time,’ he said, ‘but I’m going abroad so now is not the right time.’