Lawler and Bell Re-Sign for 2020

Friday, December 6, 2019 - 5:35 PM by Owen Davies

Dual Premiership players Blair Bell and Brayden Lawler have re-signed with the club for the 2020 season. 

Bell, from local South Mandurah JFC, who made his League Debut in 2013 will hoping for a change in fortunes on the injury front after a couple of leg injuries curtailed his 2019 season.    

“It was a tough year for the boys and for me personally. Missed the start of the season because of a knee injury, had a really good patch of games and then picked up another injury at the end of the year.” Bell said.

Despite playing in a career-low 13 games he still managed to lead the goal-kicking with a career-high 26. 23 of those came in his first 10 games, including bags of 5 against East Fremantle in Round 3, and 4 in a 79-point drubbing of Swan Districts in Round 12. 

“Looking back, the early part of the season was probably the most consistent I have been, definitely in terms of my goal-kicking. Playing alongside the likes of Cam McCarthy and Hayden Ballantyne probably helped get me off the chain a little bit.” 

His blistering start to the season culminated in his first selection as part of the State Squad that took on South Australia. An achievement he used as an opportunity to gain an insight into how players from some of the other clubs go about it.

“Fantastic opportunity to go and play with some of the best players in competition and learn how they prepare. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win, but it was great to get that experience.”

A Lis Franc injury towards the end of the year saw ‘Belly’ miss the final 2 games of the season and it will continue to hold him out of main training until the new year.

Lawler on the other hand played in every game last season but by no means was it less challenging. Deployed as a pressure-forward since breaking into the League-side in 2015, Brayden saw his role change from week to week in 2019. 

With a number of Dockers players coming back to fill the forward-line roles, he was asked to play more of a utility role, spending more time further away from goal and through defence, something that was a completely new challenge for him.

“It definitely took some time to adjust as it was something that I hadn’t done at this level before. I’m happy to play anywhere though, wherever ‘Shep’ needs me.” Lawler said.

Football Manager Shane Creevey says it’s great for the club to keep 2 key pieces of the ’16 & ’17 Premierships at the Thunder.

“With so much change with the League-side with players coming in and out, it’s been great to have both Belly and Brayden here to keep some consistency in the squad. They are 2 of our Leaders and with so many younger players pushing up into the Senior Program over the past few seasons it’s good to have a couple of guys that have been there and done it themselves and can be relied on to share their experience."

The Senior Program has begun Pre-Season training and will continue until the 19th of December before resuming in the new year, looking at making a charge back into the finals for the first time since taking out the 2017 Premiership.