Hart and Harvey urge Bell to play on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hart and Harvey urge Bell to play on

By Justin Chadwick 03/07/2008 12:23:15 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle president Rick Hart and coach Mark Harvey have joined forces to urge veteran midfielder Peter Bell to play on in 2009.

Bell contemplated retiring at the end of last season but was convinced otherwise by Harvey on the proviso he could commute from Geraldton to Perth each week to play in 2008.

The 32-year-old, who called an end to that arrangement in May, has missed just the one match this season and is averaging almost 22 possessions a game, proving invaluable in a midfield missing regulars Paul Hasleby and Des Headland to knee injuries.

"I think he's enjoying his footy very much at the moment and I would think if Peter Bell wants to go on that would be his decision," Hart told Perth radio.

"If he decides that he's got another year or whatever in footy then the Fremantle footy club would love to have him."

Harvey said Bell's form warranted a contract extension should the 286-game veteran choose to continue on into a 15th season.

"The fact he's come back to Perth - he's really got a lot of freedom about him," Harvey told Channel Seven.

"Mentally it looks like he's refreshed.

"I spoke to another club we played a couple of weeks ago and they said how effective Peter Bell was and how they really saw him as a guy that they were really concerned with throughout the course of the game."

And Harvey did not rule out recruiting former Eagle Ben Cousins should the 30-year-old nominate for this year's AFL draft.

"I really hope Ben does come back and play the game he loves - whether we are a part of it or not remains to be seen," Harvey said.

"We will be guided by what happens in the next two or three months with his football."

Meanwhile, Hart, who at the start of the season declared the Dockers had never been in better shape to make a run at the premiership, ruled out a drastic list overhaul at the end of the year despite the club's disastrous 2-12 win-loss record.

"I think we've really got something to build on. It's not as if we're in a devastating situation and got to completely rebuild," Hart said.

"We've got the nucleus still there and with the addition of some really good youth players, I think we'll still be around the place."

Hart said a replacement for outgoing chief executive Cameron Schwab was unlikely to be named by the end of July.

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