Bell develops at own pace for Perth
LITTLE was know of Jared Bell when he first arrived at the Perth Football Club.
Bell played his junior football for the South Perth Stingrays, where he won a premiership in 2011. He also played with Aquinas College in the Private School’s Association competition.
He had never played any development football for the Demons, but after finishing school at the end of 2013 he decided that he would try his luck at Perth.
“Being 18, I thought I might as well give it a crack while I was young and if it didn’t work out, well then it didn’t work out,” Bell said.
“I went down to the club with no real expectations and just wanted to have a kick of the footy and see where it took me and it has certainly paid off so far.”
At the completion of the 2014 season, Bell was named in the back pocket of the Colts Team of the Year and finished runner-up behind Kayle Phillips in the Best and Fairest Award.
The transition from colts football to senior football is hard for most players and Bell was no different, but his positive attitude and fearless attack on the football soon earned him the respect of his more senior teammates.
“It’s a huge transition but I went in with the mindset of just giving it a red hot crack,” he said.
“I really tried to learn as much as I could off the senior players – the blokes that train harder than anyone else, players like Daniel O’Sullivan, who had played roughly 100 games for the club.
“At the beginning I probably wasn’t quite up to the standard but I pride myself on not getting beaten and playing my role for the team.
“Being able to earn the respect of these senior players early on certainly helped make the transition from colts football to senior football easier.”
After making his league debut in round one against Swans, Bell went on to play 19 games in his first season of senior football.
At the conclusion of that year, Bell finished third in the Best and Fairest, three votes behind runner-up Liam McKenna, and also received the Doug Buckingham Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who shows the most potential each season.
During the 2015 season, Bell appeared to cause some controversy when he ‘declined’ to play for WA in the National Under-18’s Championships.
“The first thing I ever heard about me playing for WA was when that article got written,” Bell said.
“I was under the impression that because I was 19 I was too old to play State 18s football but apparently there was a loophole that meant I could have because I had never been through any development squads. It was a bit surprising when this article popped up, as I actually never got asked if I wanted to come down and play State 18s and I certainly don’t think you turn down those sorts of offers.”
With the Demons now having equalled the amount of wins they had last season, Bell is keen for more success this year.
“For the rest of the year the goal as a team would be to keep developing and hopefully we can get a few more wins on the board as that always helps,” he said.
“Personally I just want to keep trying to play my role in the team and hopefully that can lead towards team success.”