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Bell's living a childhood dream

Greg Davis, The Courier Mail  October 22, 2015 11:12 AM

Tom Bell Highlights See some of new Lions Recruit, Tom Bell's best highlights.
It’s great to be wearing the jumper of the team I grew up supporting, it’s amazing.

THE homecoming for new Brisbane recruit Tom Bell is as much about family as it is football.

The former Carlton midfielder/forward was traded to the Lions this week in what amounts to a win-win deal for the Morningside Panthers junior.

He will play for the club he worshipped growing up in the inner-eastern Brisbane suburb of Norman Park, just a stone’s throw from the Gabba.

But most importantly, he will be close to his family with Bell’s father Steve in remission after a battle with cancer.

“I wanted to come home to be near Dad and the whole family,’’ Bell said.

“It is a cliche but it’s true that family comes first. It definitely does.

“Dad is having all his check-ups and is fit as a fiddle. He’s going great now and it’s great to be back here with him.

“I can’t thank Carlton enough for their understanding about me wanting to come home and facilitating the trade.’’

Bell, 24, is not at the Gabba under any sort of sufferance, he is living his childhood dream.

He felt like a kid in the candy store yesterday pulling on the Lions guernsey.

Growing up, his family knew the Leppitsch family well and he often marvelled at the heroics of his favourite player — then-Brisbane captain Michael Voss.

He even played a few games for the Lions reserves as a top-up player before being snapped up by the Blues in 2011.

“It’s great to be wearing the jumper of the team I grew up supporting, it’s amazing,’’ Bell said.

“I’ve known Leppa for a fair while now and I definitely looked up to him but I really liked the way Vossy went about his business. He was the player I’ve tried to model my game on.’’

Bell has 51 senior games to his name after making his AFL debut in 2012 and is coming off the best season of his career.

WATCH: Tom Bell's 2015 highlights

At 187cm and 98kg, he can be equally effective in the midfield or as a high half-forward, capable of tallying up possessions as well as kicking goals on a regular basis.

He has also been able to tap the football brain of a modern-day great.

“I felt very privileged to work really closely with Chris Judd for the past few years at Carlton. Most of the things I’ve learned, I’ve learned from Juddy,’’ he said.

“He is a legend of the game so to see how he went about every aspect of the game was incredible."

Can you spot Tom Bell in this Morningside Premiership Photo? Comment below and tell us where he is.