EVERGREEN Geelong captain Joel Selwood could finish the 2019 season in third spot on the list of most AFL finals played, having embraced a new role this season.

After spending the majority of his decorated 13-year career as an ever-present member of a potent Cats' starting midfield, Selwood has had to learn new tricks as a winger in 2019.


Along with Gary Ablett's successful move into attack, it has allowed younger teammates to flourish in the engine-room alongside Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly.

"I'd like to have played better at stages but I've played a role and enjoyed learning a different side of football too in what I've done," Selwood told reporters on Monday.

"For a number of years I've saddled up and done the same thing a number of times.

"For me it was always what was best for the side.

"I can understand that, I can work with it and make sure I finish this year as best as I possibly can."

Of course, sometimes what is best for the Cats is to have Selwood – or Ablett – in the centre square when the whips are cracking, as they will be in Friday's night's MCG qualifying final against Collingwood.

It will be Selwood's 28th final, equalling triple-premiership teammate Jimmy Bartel's club record.

Were the Cats to play four finals in 2019 – and they are guaranteed at least two – the 31-year-old would draw level on the all-time list with legendary Collingwood spearhead Gordon Coventry on 31, behind only ageless duo Michael Tuck and Shaun Burgoyne.

Not that Selwood is focused on anything other than the present.

Despite being an almost permanent fixture in the finals during his long career, the Cats have not qualified for a Grand Final since the golden era of 2007-11 which yielded three flags.

"You just appreciate the opportunity more than anything; the position that the side has got itself in and what you have done to get it there," said Selwood.

"Now it's one of eight chances to take it out at the end of the day and we're just in that bracket, giving ourselves the best chance we possibly can.

"2011 is a long time ago – it is what it is.

"You can look back (but) really now for me, while I'm still playing, it's irrelevant.

"I just play 2019 for what it is, but I've done that when I played in 2012 too."

Most finals played
Michael TuckHawthorn39
Shaun Burgoyne*Port Adelaide, Hawthorn35
Gordon CoventryCollingwood31
Bruce DoullCarlton29
Leigh MatthewsHawthorn29
Wayne SchimmelbuschNorth Melbourne29
Jason AkermanisBrisbane, Western Bulldogs28
Gary AyresHawthorn28
Jimmy BartelGeelong28
Adam GoodesSydney28
Bill HutchisonEssendon28
Jarrad McVeighSydney28
Chris MewHawthorn28
Kevin BartlettRichmond27
Harry CollierCollingwood27
Martin PikeMelbourne, North Melbourne, Brisbane27
Dick ReynoldsEssendon27
Joel Selwood*Geelong27

* Still playing