Joel Selwood relishes new leadership role, impressed by Cameron Munster at Melbourne Storm

Former Geelong champion Joel Selwood has been impressed by the leadership qualities of superstar Cameron Munster declaring he’s “getting more comfortable by the day” in his new role at Melbourne Storm.

Selwood linked up with the Storm in January as a leadership coach following his retirement from football after leading Geelong to an AFL premiership, the fourth of his decorated career.

He said he was eager to learn from another highly successful football program at the Storm, where the club is trying to accelerate the development of its young leaders after losing a wave of experience over the summer.

Brandon Smith departed the club for the Sydney Roosters, while Jesse and Kenny Bromwich along with Felise Kaufusi signed for the incoming Dolphins side, with Jesse named the side’s inaugural captain after leading the Storm last season.

Christian Welch had shared captaincy duties with Bromwich in round one before tearing his achilles, and the well-spoken 28-year-old is the favourite to assume the role in 2023, but Selwood praised star five-eighth Cameron Munster for his influence on the playing group.

“It was good to get to know him on a personal level. Cam is one of the players that is really attractive around Victoria,” Selwood said.

“He has a killer instinct, obviously has great knowledge and is a big person within the rugby league game, so he was one that tickled my fancy when I wanted to come to Storm.”

Selwood said the 28-year-old, who was banned from the leadership group a year ago following his involvement in the Storm’s white powder scandal, had matured and “no doubt” had great leadership potential.

“He’s recently become a father, he understands that it’s over to him now and the side around him, and he’s got to have a big impact,” he said.

Melbourne Storm staff had been understanding of Selwood’s need to learn the finer points of the game on the fly during his first few months in the role, he said.

“I was standing on a field with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater the other day and I felt like the odd one out,” he said.

“I’m still learning the game … my key role is to look after those leaders, and bring them through as quickly as possible.

“I’ve crossed paths with plenty of rugby league players before and know what it takes to play at that elite level too.”

The chance to observe tireless Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy from up close had huge appeal to Selwood, who said he was eager to experience a different coaching style after spending his entire 16-year career under only Mark Thompson and Chris Scott at Geelong.

“Craig was a big part of why I joined the club, because I’ve only played under Mark and Chris, two great coaches,” he said.

“Craig is probably the best coach that’s gone around in the rugby league world in the last 20, 25 years.”

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