GEELONG coach Chris Scott claims there was never any doubt inspirational captain Joel Selwood would play in Saturday night’s sudden-death AFL semi-final.
Despite undergoing finger surgery last week, the tough midfielder will lead his team out at the Gabba as the Cats attempt to keep their season alive against Collingwood.
Selwood trained strongly on Friday, quashing any question marks over his availability after injuring his finger in the qualifying loss to Port Adelaide.
“The most important part is he feels as if he is ready and he can do it so we were always confident that would be the case,” Scott said.
“We are more than happy and confident to back him in.
“There was never really any doubt in our mind to be honest, that was always the prognosis we were given.”
Playing through pain has become second nature to the 32-year-old.
Despite his bash-and-crash style, Selwood has played 307 games during a storied career and has rarely been ruled out for extended periods.
This will be his 32nd final – the third most in VFL/AFL history behind Michael Tuck and Shaun Burgoyne.
But Selwood isn’t focused on breaking records, all he wants to do is lead Geelong on a deep run into finals.
For the third time in four seasons, the Cats find themselves in a cuthroat second week clash after losing a qualifying final.
A huge reason in the Cats losing to the Power by 16 points was their inaccuracy around goal.
Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins was kept goalless for just the third time in 2020, spraying five behinds.
Scott is backing his full-forward to return to form in a match-up with Collingwood defender Jordan Roughead.
“We’ll back him in to convert when he gets his chances … 0.5 looks glaring but if you go through the shots, there weren’t too many absolute sitters,” Scott said.
Geelong’s finals record might be a miserable 4-12 since winning the 2011 premiership, but three of those wins have come in semi-finals.
They will face a Magpies group buoyant following their heroic one-point upset of West Coast in last Saturday’s elimination final.
Collingwood have already defied expectations by making it to the second week, but boast a dangerous line-up capable of causing another boilover.
Electric forward Jordan De Goey ran riot last time the teams met in July with five goals, helping the Magpies to a 22-point win.
(C) AAP 2020