FORMER AFL player Peter Bell has revealed he hired a sprint coach to keep his dream of playing football at the highest level alive after being cut early in his career.
Bell had been picked up as a teenager by the Fremantle Dockers ahead of their inaugural season.
But after playing two games in 1995, he was delisted.
Speaking at the City of Cockburn’s Junior Sports Travel Assistance Awards night last week, Bell said he thought his career was over.
“I thought that was it, that’s my shot at AFL football gone. But I decided that wasn’t going to be enough for me,” Bell said.
“I was going to have another attempt to get in the AFL.”
Bell said he knew he needed to become faster.
“I went and got a job outside of university, earned some money and hired a sprint coach with all the money I had to my name,” he said.
“That helped just a little bit. I became a little bit quicker and I got a second opportunity with North Melbourne.”
Bell’s time at the Kangaroos was particularly fruitful, with a best and fairest, three grand finals, two premierships and an All Australian jumper.
He eventually moved back for a second stint with the Dockers, who he skippered between 2002 and 2006.
“My time at North Melbourne was very exciting… but the lure of coming home to Western Australia was always very strong,” he said.
Cockburn’s Junior Sports Travel Assistance Program helps local sporting talents cover costs associated with their chosen sport.
It has been running since 1992. The City provides $40,000 each year to elite junior athletes.