Blossoming Sydney Swans speedster James Bell has locked his eyes on a trio of star teammates in his pursuit to one day join them in the bright lights of the AFL.
The 20-year-old QBE Sydney Swans Academy graduate starred in his push for an AFL debut as Sydney’s NEAFL side toppled the Gold Coast Suns by 32 points at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
And the exciting prospect, who’s now in his second year as an AFL-listed Swan, says he’s mirroring the games of Kieren Jack, Harry Cunningham and Oliver Florent on the road to the big time.
“When I’m playing on the wing I like to base my game off Harry Cunningham and Oliver Florent, and then if I go forward I try to be a nippy forward like Kieren Jack and get involved,” Bell told SwansTV.
“I want to play consistent footy and learn as much as I can off the senior players. I’m pleased with my NEAFL performance on the weekend. I’m just trying to get some consistent footy going, I’m working hard both ways and that’s how I’m finding the ball.”
Bell was among a host of driving forces behind the Swans’ 17.8 (110) to 10.12 (72) victory over the Suns, posting 29 disposals and a goal as Sydney captured back-to-back wins to start its season.
The young Swan had also recorded 19 possessions and a game-high seven tackles as Sydney overpowered GWS in its season-opener a week earlier.
Bell is one of many young footballers carving out a journey in the red and white, and seven fresh faces joined him at the club last November.
Nick Blakey, James Rowbottom, Justin McInerney, Zac Foot, Durak Tucker, Harry Reynolds and Sam Wicks form the draft class of 2019, and Blakey and McInerney have already debuted in the AFL.
Bell said a full-of-vigour approach was central to the Swans’ win over the Suns on Sunday, and he’s been impressed with the attitudes of Sydney’s first-year draftees in the opening rounds of the season.
“Zac Foot has a lot of energy on and off field but all of them have their own unique way of bringing energy, whether it’s with the ball or getting the team up and about.”