Joel Selwood has been the focus of attention this week after Alastair Clarkson used him as an example of players ducking their heads to draw free kicks.
St Kilda champion Leigh Montagna has come to Selwood’s defence today on his show Dead Set Legends with Jay Clark in Melbourne, saying that Selwood’s technique of breaking tackles isn’t the same as ducking to draw a free kick.
Listen to Joey Montagna go into bat for Joel Selwood here:
“I have a strong view on it. I think Joel Selwood shrugs,” Joey said.
“He shrugs to legitimately break a tackle.
“In the motion of shrugging they get him high, and he gets a lot of free kicks… I take exception to people saying what Joel Selwood does falls in the same category as guys like Toby McLean, Rhys Mathieson, even Luke Shuey.
“Those guys play for the free kick and actually try and drop their knees and raise their arm to get a free kick… I’d strongly argue — and I’d love to see anyone prove me differently — eight out of 10 times Joel Selwood legitimately tries to shrug a tackle,” Joey said.
“The way to do that, to get out of a strong tackle is to drop your knees, lift your arm, and slip out of it.”
Joey and Jay gave a demonstration in the Triple M Melbourne office on Selwood’s tackle breaking technique:
Joey said that Selwood’s technique is different to players who he thinks do try and draw frees.
“The umpires have stopped paying free kicks to players that play for the free kick, the guys who drop to the knees and lift their arm — whether it’s Allen Christensen, Toby Mclean — we’ve seen games this year, the umpires aren’t paying that a free kick anymore, which is a directive which we all agree and which we’re happy to see.
“That’s been classed as holding the ball against these players… Joel Selwood, what he does, is a different tactic.
“He is not playing for a free kick and leading with his head. He’s dropping his knees and raising his arm to shrug out of a tackle, and when he’s doing that he gets head high contact.”