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Breakthrough season a ‘learning curve’ for Bell

It’s been a whirlwind season for Sam Bell who, four months after linking up with the first team, has gone on to make his Bristol City debut and earn a new deal with the club.

The Academy graduate has put pen to paper on a three-year contract as he looks to follow in the footsteps of his dad, former Robins left-back Mickey Bell, and establish himself in the years to come.

Bell continues his six-year association with the club and is looking forward to making his mark in the next chapter of his young career.

🎥 Watch: The Sam Bell interview

 

Grateful

He told Robins TV: “I’ve been here since a 12-year-old lad and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. First of all, just to become a professional was a big moment for me and now to get this deal is a really exciting time.

“I don’t think you can sum it up into words. It’s been a crazy season due to Covid-19, it was hectic but I’m thankful to have been given the chance to train with the first team, to get minutes and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“When you’re on the pitch you realise how fast-paced the game really is and how tough you have to be to compete in the Championship, so it’s been a big learning curve for me.”

Coming back stronger

The 18-year-old former Nailsea United striker made his City debut in December 2020 and went on to make his first start against Stoke City on Good Friday. It was an unfortunate day for the youngster as a he suffered a hamstring injury which forced him off in the 14th minute.

“I was gutted I wouldn’t be able to play in front of fans at a full Ashton Gate, that would’ve been good,” he said. “But I picked up a hamstring injury and it looks to have put an end to my season. I have to come back stronger from this and go again next year.”

But he has plenty of experience and advice around him, none more so than his dad Micky. He spent eight years at Ashton Gate, having arrived from Wycombe Wanderers for just £150,000 and enjoyed promotion with the club before departing BS3 in 2005.

“He’s been through it all,” said Bell Jr. “He offers tips and advice here and there. He’s really helped me throughout my football journey so it’s been good to have him alongside me.”

Sights on recovery

Bell now sets his sights on recovering from injury and hopes to play his part again in the 2021/22 campaign. In the meantime, he will continue his recovery from the Robins High Performance Centre.

He said: “As everyone has seen this is a stunning place. Having the extra, new facilities and now that I’m injured it will help my rehab process and having everyone together helps us bond as a club even more. Next year, hopefully when we’re all together it will be even tighter.

“It’s always key to set yourself goals and now after this setback I have to come back stronger, hopefully break into the team next year, make more appearances and score.”

GALLERY: SAM BELL

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