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Scott no longer the other Selwood

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No longer in the shadows: Scott Selwood chases Joel Selwood.

No longer in the shadows: Scott Selwood chases Joel Selwood. Photo: Getty Images

Scott Selwood's emergence as a top-tier midfielder comes as no surprise to those who watched him grow up striving to match his celebrated brothers.

As the youngest of four boys, he followed Adam, Troy and Joel through their Bendigo childhood of football, basketball and athletics into the AFL.

Four seasons in, Scott has stepped up from a defensive tagging role for West Coast into a ball-winning midfielder who's been a major force in the Eagles' unbeaten start to the season.

Scott Selwood is a tagger no more.

Scott Selwood is a tagger no more. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

He's matching triple premiership-winning older brother Joel in media awards so far this season and is no longer in the shadows of Eagles teammate Adam and former Brisbane player Troy.

While he was slower than Joel to make his mark, Scott joined Adam in the Eagles' leadership group last year and is averaging 29 disposals this season, compared to a career average of 17.

Mark Ellis coached Joel and Scott at the Bendigo Pioneers Under 18 TAC Cup team and says early comparisons between the two were unfair.

Scott, 22, was drafted a year younger than Joel and Ellis says he's now reaping the rewards for the Selwood family trait of hard work.

"Joel has been talked about a lot, the way he plays. Scott was the same," Ellis said.

"They were both prepared to work hard to get the ball and their ball use was very good. They were good decision makers, very team oriented players.

"A lot of people are not surprised by Scott. He's had a couple of years over in Perth now and he's started to do really well.

"The biggest thing with both of them, and Scott especially, was his work ethic, his appetite to get better, he just constantly wanted to get better.

"I guess being the fourth in line, he was constantly being compared to the other three."

He was 11 when twins Adam and Troy were drafted to West Coast and Brisbane and a 17-year-old on the verge of being drafted himself when Joel, at 19, won a premiership with Geelong and the Rising Star award in 2007.

Their father Bryce agreed Scott grew up under pressure but it was a burden he used to his advantage.

"I wouldn't put anything past Scott, he's a very determined young man," Bryce said.

"He had a lot of pressure on him throughout his younger years.

"There was a lot of expectations and criticism that he only achieved certain things because his brothers were there. He worked his way through that. He's been very determined the whole time.

"There was always going to be comparisons because they were doing very similar sports."

Aware of the weight of comparisons, mother Maree even gave nine-year-old Scott the option of choosing different sports.

"He just looked at her and said 'are you for real mum?"' Bryce said.

Bryce believes Scott's couple of seasons running with the league's best midfielders helped improve his game.

He's developed a greater ability to read the play, pick which contest to attack and conserve his energy, while the entire family is in awe of his secondary efforts.

"I'm amazed at some of his second, third and fourth efforts, even his brothers are," Bryce said.

The Selwoods are one of only 13 families to have had four brothers play in the VFL/AFL and are second behind the Danihers' 752 games for combined games played.

In his 119 games, Joel has been the most decorated, with three premierships, a club best and fairest, a Rising Star award and the Geelong captaincy at the age of 23.

Adam, 28, won the 2006 premiership with the Eagles among his 164 games, while Troy is now captain of Geelong's VFL side after his 75-game career with Brisbane ended in 2010.

Scott will catch up to Troy this week and has certainly stamped himself as his own man.

And while they're shaping as perhaps the best family to have played the game, there'll be no comparisons from within.

"I'm not going to say one's better than the others," Bryce said.

THIRTEEN FAMILIES OF FOUR BROTHERS HAVE PLAYED VFL/AFL FOOTBALL.
FIVE FAMILIES HAVE PLAYED MORE THAN A COMBINED TOTAL OF 300 GAMES:  

DANIHER - 752 games
Terry    (South Melbourne 1976-77)     19 games                (Essendon 1978-92)    294
Neale    (Ess 1979-81, 1985, 1899-90)  82
Anthony  (South/Sydney 1981-86)       115                  (Ess 1987-94)       118
Chris    (Ess 1987-98)                124  

SELWOOD - 432 games
Adam     (West Coast 2003-)           164 games
Troy     (Brisbane 2005-2010)          75
Joel     (Geelong 2007-)              119
Scott    (West Coast 2008-)            74  

CORDNER - 376 games   
Donald  (Melbourne 1941-50)           166 games
Edward  (Melbourne 1941-43, 46)        52
Dennis  (Melbourne 1943, 48-56)       152
John    (Melbourne 1951)                6  

HISKINS - 375 games
Fred   (Ess 1900-02, 06)               50 games
Arthur (South 1908-15, 1919-23)       185
Stan   (South 1913-14, 1919-21)        66
Rupe   (Carl 1920-24)                  74  

ROSE - 374 games
Bob   (Collingwood 1946-55)           152 games
Bill  (Coll 1950-55)                   40
Kevin (Coll 1958-67)                  159
Ralph (Coll 1962-63)                   23

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