Queensland’s Tom Bell to make AFL debut

This time last year Tom Bell was strapping on the boots for NEAFL club Morningside and had just been nominated for the Northern Conference Rising Star award.

Just 12 months on and Bell gets his shot at the big-time, having been named in the Carlton side to take on the Western Bulldogs at Etihad stadium on Saturday night.

Bell will run out in the No.28 guernsey, made famous by four-time premiership ruckman Peter “Percy” Jones in front of his father who is making the trip from Queensland for his son’s senior debut.

A State level cross country runner and top level kite boarder, Bell was originally on a soccer sporting path. But fate intervened in the form of AFL-loving friends and once he picked up a Sherrin he never looked back.

Bell played 15 senior games with the Panthers in addition to two games as a Brisbane Lions top-up player. Also, he was a standout for the Queensland U21s against the VAFA U21s, and was called in to the Australia Post Queensland U18 side to play in the NAB Australian U18 Championships as an over age player.

The 21-year-old played for Morningside seniors in 2011 and was largely unaware that he had caught the eye of Carlton selectors. He was picked up by the Blues at pick 14 in the 2011 Rookie draft.

The Western Bulldogs Vs Carlton match kicks off at 7:40pm and Queensland viewers can catch all the action live on 7mate or the Fox Footy channel.

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