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Bell insists Fremantle relationships are strong despite recent key departures


Former Fremantle football boss Peter Bell has reiterated there is a strong relationship between staff and players, despite the concerning amount of Dockers seeking moves elsewhere in recent years.

Bell, who has moved into a new role as executive general manager of football talent, strategy and special projects, believes that players seeking moves is not a problem that only Fremantle face.

The Dockers lost gun forward Lachie Schultz to Collingwood and crafty wingman Liam Henry to St Kilda this trade period, which adds to the list of players such as Adam Cerra and Bradley Hill who have moved elsewhere in recent years.

But Bell does not believe the Dockers are any different to other clubs who lose key players.

“I’m really comfortable with my relationship with players. Clearly some relationships with players are better than others, that’s just human nature,” Bell told SEN WA’s Breakfast with Scotty and Goss.

“We’re actually not an outlier in the competition for players leaving.

“Some of them have been players who we’ve been absolutely encouraging for them to go and pursue opportunities, some of them are players we absolutely would’ve liked to have kept as well – I’m not trying to avoid that.

“We’re really comfortable where that sits. We have to continue to do work in that area, in fact that’ll be a part of this enhanced remit that I have.”

Bell did acknowledge that those involved with list management must take some responsibility for the mass departure of key players, but highlighted the deals they were able to secure for them as a positive for the club.

“Do I bear responsibility? I think we as a team, we have to, for those players that have left that we would’ve preferred to keep, I think we all have to wear that responsibility,” he said.

“Having said that, it’s what you then do from that situation – Adam Cerra is a player we would’ve liked to have kept, in the end we turned Adam into Jye Amiss. Brad Hill would’ve been nice to have on the list, but we turned that into Caleb Serong.

“They’re the challenges that you have in football, and it’s become more and more prevalent.

"You look at Collingwood, who are premiers, and they trade a premiership player (in Jack Ginnivan)…, and trade out their vice-captain (in Taylor Adams). So it does happen.”

The Dockers failed to bring in any new players in this year’s trade period, but did sign Oscar McDonald as a delisted free agent, and did great work in securing multiple draft picks for this year and the future.

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