JOEL Selwood's love of the game outweighs the pressure associated with leadership by such a margin that it has allowed him to become the longest-serving captain in AFL history.
That's the simple truth of the matter, according to the Geelong skipper himself.
Selwood, who took over from Cameron Ling as skipper after the 2011 premiership, will reach 227 games at the helm when he leads the Cats into battle against Collingwood on Saturday night.
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In doing so, he will pass the mark set by Carlton legend Stephen Kernahan a quarter of a century ago.
"I appreciate the game for what it is," Selwood said.
"You can put all the pressure in the world on someone's shoulders but when you get to throw that jumper on just before a game ... there's no better feeling that I get each week than that.
"I was talking to Nick Riewoldt and Jonathan Brown the other night and Nick was speaking about the pressures that he thought came with it (leadership) and the anxiety.
"I don't necessarily get that but I get the love of what you've worked at throughout the week to get ready for that moment to go again."
That feeling extends behind the scenes to the unglamorous side of professional football, which Selwood relishes more than most of his peers.
"I've been lucky in that a lot of the jobs do get shared and I've got a lot of good people looking over (me) to make sure I don't get drowned out in it," the 33-year-old said.
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"There's the lonely hours that I like to do, preparing the body and keeping it up to scratch, but I also do love hanging around the people at this footy club.
"I wouldn't be doing it if I lost that love."
Selwood, who has played 336 games for the Cats, has been captain for all but one of Chris Scott's dozen seasons as Geelong coach.
The pair share a bond they say will never be broken.
"The mutual respect that's been built between us is such that nothing will ever get in the way of the relationship that we have," Scott said.
"We're still really optimistic about what we can do together in the future, so we're not going to spend too much time looking back, but I look forward to a lifelong relationship with Joel."
Selwood has been kept in the dark about Geelong's plans to celebrate his milestone but believes Kernahan will be in attendance to see the record broken.
MOST VFL/AFL GAMES AS CAPTAIN/CO-CAPTAIN
226 – Joel Selwood (Geelong)
226 – Stephen Kernahan (Carlton)
224 – Dick Reynolds (Essendon)
221 – Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)
212 – Ted Whitten (Footscray)
210 – Michael Voss (Brisbane)
190 – Matthew Pavlich (Fremantle)
188 – Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
188 – John Nicholls (Carlton)
184 – Wayne Carey (North Melbourne)
184 – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)