James Bell credits a strong pre-season that was based on a tireless work-ethic as a major factor to his improved 2021 campaign and has his sights set firmly on building into 2022 with greater confidence. 

Since being drafted in 2017, Bell has become a popular member of the playing group but admits he wanted to earn the respect of his team-mates on the field as he looks to fulfil his exciting potential.

He finished with 12 appearances to his name and self-confidence in his ability after one of his most consistent seasons to date. 

"This season has been pretty good. I made sure I came back fit and healthy in the pre-season and that put me in good stead for a good year," he said.

"My main goal this year was just to respect the group. I wanted to be taken seriously because I am a bit of a clown off the field, but when it comes to getting the work done, I hope that my team-mates can count on me."

Still just 22 years of age, Bell took the opportunity to learn of some of the senior players in the squad to enhance his professional development. 

Bell produced one of his best performances of the year in Round 16, recording 15 disposals and four tackles against West Coast.

That included the likes of co-captain Luke Parker, and star forward Isaac Heeney, with the duo having a profound impact on his season and at times where his form came into question. 

"I learned a lot of {Luke} Parker and especially Isaac as-well," he said.

"Just through times when I am in and out of form, I'll need them to lean on and they guide me along the right path as well."

One of his best performances came against the West Coast Eagles in Round 16, which saw him record 15 disposals and four tackles to help the Swans claim an emphatic 92-point victory. 

He now has great ambitions to become the best player he can possibly be moving forward, and it will start with another big pre-season that will ultimately set the standards for an improved 2022 campaign.

"I just want to make sure I am fit and healthy again, and even more than what I was last year. I want to keep improving."

"That's my main focus - get better at everything."

01:08 Mins
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2021 Season Review: James Bell

James Bell reflects on his 2021 season that saw him enjoy arguably one of his best individual campaigns to date.

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