GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: Joel Selwood (L) and Oscar Brownless of the Cats compete during a Geelong Cats AFL training session at the Deakin University Elite Sports Precinct on January 22, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Storm have added AFL champion Joel Selwood to their coaching staff for the 2023 NRL season.

The former Geelong Cats star will join the club as a leadership coach, having retired from Aussie Rules at the end of the 2022 season after a career which spanned 355 games for the Cats.

The longest serving captain in VFL/AFL history, Selwood will bring significant experience and leadership to the club as an elite sportsperson.

The Storm have lost numerous key figures from their playing group this season, with Jesse Bromwich, Kenneath Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi joining the Dolphoins, while Brandon Smith has moved to the Sydney Roosters.

It has left Craig Bellamy with a sizeable challenge on his hands to keep the club at the top of the ladder, and Frank Ponissi, Storm general manager of football, said Selwood has already impressed.

“Joel is an impressive person and has shown he has outstanding leadership qualities as Captain of the Cats over a long period of time,” Ponissi said in a club statement.

“We were particularly impressed with his humility and eagerness to learn, which was no surprise given what we knew about him and from the feedback we got from those we spoke to through the process, including Simon Lloyd at the Cats.

“We knew our two clubs had a lot of similarities, not just in sustained success but the values we each hold, and Joel has been a constant driver of those values for a long time.

“His leadership qualities and values off the field are just as impressive and have been very well documented over the years which was also very important to us in speaking to Joel about this role."

His role will involve mentoring Melbourne's current and emerging leaders, while also supporting the club's next captain, who will take over from Jesse Bromwich.

“I'm really excited to be joining Storm. I've been watching them and been in envy of what the club has been able to achieve for a long time,” Selwood said.

“When the opportunity come up, I saw it as a great chance to get involved in something a bit different in an environment that is so well run.

“I was impressed with the presentation Frank and Craig made and have already been welcomed at the club when I visited AAMI Park earlier this week. I can't wait to meet the rest of the playing group and getting into the season.”

Selwood is not the first Victorian-based star to code hop after their career, with Billy Slater having previously linked up with the St Kilda Saints in the AFL in a similar role to the one Selwood will fulfil at AAMI Park.