Amari'i Bell

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Amari'i Bell
Personal information
Full name Amari'i Kyren Bell[1]
Date of birth (1994-05-05) 5 May 1994 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Burton upon Trent, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[2]
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current team
Blackburn Rovers
Number 17
Youth career
West Bromwich Albion
0000–2011 Solihull Moors
2011–2012 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2015 Birmingham City 1 (0)
2013Nuneaton Town (loan) 8 (0)
2013Nuneaton Town (loan) 11 (0)
2014Kidderminster Harriers (loan) 10 (2)
2014Mansfield Town (loan) 0 (0)
2014–2015Swindon Town (loan) 10 (0)
2015Gillingham (loan) 7 (0)
2015–2018 Fleetwood Town 115 (6)
2018– Blackburn Rovers 52 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:41, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Amari'i Kyren Bell (born 5 May 1994) is an English professional footballer who plays as a left back for Championship club Blackburn Rovers.

Bell joined Birmingham City's Academy in 2011 and turned professional the following year. He spent time on loan at Conference Premier club Nuneaton Town in the first half of the 2013–14 season before making his Football League debut for Birmingham in January 2014. Later that season he returned to the Conference Premier with Kidderminster Harriers. After a loan spell at League Two club Mansfield Town at the start of the 2014–15 season was cut short, Bell spent three months with League One club Swindon Town before joining another League One club, Gillingham, also on loan, in March 2015. He was released by Birmingham at the end of the 2014–15 season and signed for Fleetwood Town of League One. He spent two-and-a-half seasons with Fleetwood, making 137 appearances, before moving on to Blackburn Rovers in January 2018.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Bell was born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire,[3] and raised in the Quinton district of Birmingham, where he attended Four Dwellings High School.[4] As a youngster he was in the youth system at West Bromwich Albion before moving on to Solihull Moors,[5] and he joined Birmingham City's academy in 2011.[3] In June 2012, Bell signed a one-year professional contract.[6] He played regularly for the development squad during the 2012–13 season, and was rewarded with another one-year contract, with the option of a further year.[3]

In July 2013, Bell joined Conference Premier club Nuneaton Town on loan until the following January.[7] He made his debut in the opening match of the season, a 1–0 win at Macclesfield Town, playing at left wing-back. According to the local newspaper, he "shone",[8] though the player himself was more critical, recognising the need to minimise errors such as "a bit at the end where I took a poor touch and they could have scored from it."[9] He kept his place in the starting eleven as Nuneaton went unbeaten for the first nine matches, apart from one match missed with a dead leg,[10][11] but was suddenly recalled by his parent club on 20 September.[12]

First-team debut with Birmingham City[edit]

Bell was given a squad number, and was considered for a defensive role ahead of Birmingham's third round League Cup match against Swansea City on 25 September, with Kyle Bartley ineligible and David Murphy rested after returning only recently from long-term injury.[13] He played no part in the match, not even as an unused substitute, and returned to Nuneaton a couple of days later.[14] Bell re-established himself at left back, playing a further eleven times in the Conference Premier and once in the FA Cup,[10] before Birmingham recalled him again on 9 December after starting left-back Mitch Hancox damaged a knee and with Murphy again unfit.[15]

He was included among the substitutes for Birmingham's next match, a 2–0 win away to AFC Bournemouth, but remained unused.[16] Bell made his first-team debut on 28 January 2014, starting at left back against Championship leaders Leicester City as a late replacement for Hancox who had injured an ankle. He played the whole of the 2–1 defeat.[17]

More loan spells[edit]

That was his last first-team appearance before he joined Conference Premier club Kidderminster Harriers on 6 March 2014, on a youth loan until the end of the season.[18] For the second time that season, he made his club debut in a win against Macclesfield, on this occasion as a stoppage-time substitute as Kidderminster held on to a 2–1 lead.[19] On 15 April, he scored his first goal in senior football to open the scoring in a 2–0 win against Cambridge United.[10]

Ahead of the 2014–15 season, Bell signed for League Two club Mansfield Town on loan until January 2015,[20] but was recalled only three matches into the campaign having failed to get any playing time.[21] On 26 September 2014, he joined Swindon Town of League One on a youth loan until 3 January 2015.[22] He hoped to regain self-belief by playing matches as part of a confident team, and went straight into the starting eleven for Swindon's 3–0 win away to Barnsley.[23] Bell started six matches during October, displacing Liverpool loanee Brad Smith,[24] but then lost his place to another loanee, Harry Toffolo,[25] and for the remainder of his time with the club was used mainly as a late substitute or not at all.[26]

In March 2015, Bell joined League One Gillingham on loan until the end of the season.[27] He went straight into the starting eleven in place of the injured Joe Martin for the match against Colchester United, which Gillingham drew 2–2,[28] and started the next five matches, but then lost his place and made only one more appearance, as a very late substitute.[29]

Fleetwood Town[edit]

Birmingham decided not to take up their option of a further year on Bell's contract, and confirmed he would be released.[30] Despite reported interest from Gillingham,[31] Bell agreed to join League One club Fleetwood Town on 1 July 2015 after the expiry of his Birmingham contract.[5] He went straight into the side at left wing back. In his fourth match, a 4–3 win away to Bury, he provided the assist for his fellow wing-back Tyler Hornby-Forbes' first Football League goal,[32] and in the following match, he set up two goals in a 4–0 defeat of Colchester United.[33] Assistant manager Chris Lucketti was impressed with both Bell and Hornby-Forbes: "with their athleticism, their attitude, their will to win and the running power they have they were different class – it turned the tide in our favour."[34]

Fleetwood form and results dipped, Graham Alexander was replaced as manager by Steven Pressley, and Bell himself was struggling: after a home defeat against Chesterfield at the end of October, the Blackpool Gazette wrote that "Bell's shortcomings at left back are becoming more difficult to ignore",[35] while Pressley said he needed more self-belief.[36] He helped Fleetwood reach the Northern Final of the Football League Trophy, but missed his penalty as they lost to Barnsley in a shootout.[37] By March 2016, Pressley was suggesting that Bell had the attributes to play at the top level, highlighting his pace, athleticism and ability in a one-to-one situation but also his need to work on crossing,[38] an issue raised by the player himself early in the season.[33] He made 51 appearances in all competitions as Fleetwood narrowly avoided relegation to League Two, and was one of a four-man shortlist for the club's Young Player of the Year awards, but lost out to Ashley Hunter.[39][40]

He missed some of the 2016–17 pre-season with a hamstring problem,[41] but that did not prevent Bell becoming a first-team regular under yet another new manager, Uwe Rösler. Being used at wing-back rather than full-back helped his attacking ambitions, and he scored his first goal for Fleetwood in his 71st match, an FA Cup replay against Southport on 15 November 2016, and his second in the league the following week.[42][43] In the January 2017 transfer window, there was interest in Bell from clubs including Brighton & Hove Albion,[44] Crystal Palace and West Ham United. Rösler said that Bell had added consistency to his game, and would do better staying at Fleetwood until at least the end of the season, "to reach another level. He does not want to go to a football club and be a sub. He wants to be bought for a lot of money and go right in there as their left-back."[45] He did stay, and contributed a late equaliser against Charlton that kept Fleetwood's run going on its way to 18 matches unbeaten.[46][47] He ended the season with 53 appearances, taking his total for Fleetwood to 104, as they reached and lost to Bradford City in the play-offs.[48]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Bell's contract was due to expire at the end of the 2017–18 season, and he was unlikely to sign a new one. In the January transfer window, Fleetwood agreed terms for his transfer to another League One club, Blackburn Rovers, and the player signed on 19 January 2018 on a two-and-a-half-year contract. The fee was undisclosed, but understood by Sky Sports to be in the region of £300,000.[49][50]

International career[edit]

In June 2019, Bell received an invitation to play for the Jamaica national side for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July 2019.[51]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 10 August 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Birmingham City 2013–14[52] Championship 1 0 0 0 1 0
2014–15[29] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Nuneaton Town (loan) 2013–14[10] Conference Premier 19 0 1 0 0 0 20 0
Kidderminster Harriers (loan) 2013–14[10] Conference Premier 10 2 10 2
Mansfield Town (loan) 2014–15[29] League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0
Swindon Town (loan) 2014–15[29] League One 10 0 0 0 1[a] 0 11 0
Gillingham (loan) 2014–15[29] League One 7 0 7 0
Fleetwood Town 2015–16[39] League One 44 0 1 0 1 0 5[a] 0 51 0
2016–17[48] League One 44 2 6 1 1 0 2[b] 0 53 3
2017–18[53] League One 27 4 5 0 0 0 1[c] 0 33 4
Total 115 6 12 1 2 0 8 0 137 7
Blackburn Rovers 2017–18[53] League One 12 0 12 0
2018–19[54] Championship 38 3 2 0 3 0 43 3
2019–20[55] Championship 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 52 3 2 0 3 0 57 3
Career total 214 11 15 1 5 0 9 0 243 12
  1. ^ a b Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in League One play-offs
  3. ^ Appearance in EFL Trophy

Honours[edit]

Blackburn Rovers

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amari'i Bell". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Amari'i Bell". Fleetwood Town F.C. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Walker, Andy (28 May 2013). "Amari'i extends stay". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  4. ^ Aspinall, Adam (20 November 2011). "The Birmingham school which boasts two England soccer stars". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Fleetwood Town swoop for Bell". Fleetwood Town F.C. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Birmingham City: Amari'i Bell signs senior contract". Birmingham Mail. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Amari'i Bell: Nuneaton Town sign Birmingham City defender". BBC Sport. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  8. ^ Davies, Matt (12 August 2013). "Macclesfield Town 0, Nuneaton Town 1". Nuneaton News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  9. ^ Davies, Matt (12 August 2013). "Amari'i Bell says there is more to come during his Nuneaton Town loan spell". Nuneaton News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e "A. Bell: Summary". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  11. ^ Davies, Matt (9 September 2013). "Nuneaton Town 2, Wrexham 0: Match report". Nuneaton News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  12. ^ Davies, Matt (20 September 2013). "Nuneaton Town lose Amari'i Bell after he is recalled by Birmingham City". Nuneaton News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  13. ^ Tattum, Colin (25 September 2013). "Amari'i Bell could be in line for Swansea City clash". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  14. ^ Walker, Andy (27 September 2013). "Bell back at Nuneaton". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  15. ^ Evans, Gregg (10 December 2013). "Birmingham City putting their faith in teenage talent". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Bournemouth 0–2 Birmingham". BBC Sport. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  17. ^ "The Report: Blues 1 Leicester City 2". Birmingham City F.C. 28 January 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Whild makes Bell first signing". Kidderminster Harriers F.C. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  19. ^ McKinney, Peter (11 March 2014). "Harriers v Macclesfield". Kidderminster Shuttle. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
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  22. ^ Walker, Andy (26 September 2014). "Swindon loan move for Bell". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  23. ^ Bassam, Tom (1 October 2014). "Amari'i's self Bell-ief boost". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
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  25. ^ Bassam, Tom (5 November 2014). "Super sub Andy does it again". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
    Edwards, Matthew (13 December 2014). "Are Town's loan stars beginning to feel the physicality?". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
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  28. ^ Cawdell, Luke (21 March 2015). "Gillingham 2 Colchester United 2 – match report". KentOnline. KM Group. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
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  32. ^ Stocks, Rob (20 August 2015). "Fleetwood's Forbes finds his perfect match". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  33. ^ a b Stocks, Rob (1 September 2015). "Bell gives Town ringing endorsement". Fleetwood Weekly News. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  34. ^ Stocks, Rob (26 August 2015). "Town make experience count". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  35. ^ Stocks, Rob (2 November 2015). "Fleetwood 0 Chesterfield 1 – the verdict". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  36. ^ Stocks, Rob (12 November 2015). "Tyler can be answer to Town's need for speed". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Fleetwood 1 Barnsley 1 (2–2 agg) – Penalty glory sends Reds to Wembley". The Star. Sheffield. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
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  40. ^ "Fleetwood Town midfielder Jimmy Ryan wins player of the year gong". Fleetwood Weekly News. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  41. ^ Swarbrick, Rosie (5 August 2016). "Returning trio set to boost Fleetwood Town". Fleetwood Weekly News. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
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  44. ^ Malyon, Ed (20 January 2017). "Sam Allardyce confirms Crystal Palace remain interested in Carl Jenkinson and Patrick van Aanholt transfers". The Independent. London. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  45. ^ "Bell will stay for the season, vows Fleetwood boss". Fleetwood Weekly News. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  46. ^ "Record-breaking run smells like team spirit". Fleetwood Weekly News. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  47. ^ "Uwe dismayed by lack of plaudits for players". Fleetwood Weekly News. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
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  49. ^ Swarbrick, Rosie (17 January 2018). "Fleetwood boss Rosler: Agreement in place with Blackburn for Bell – now it is up to him". Blackpool Gazette. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  50. ^ Gallagher, Danny (19 January 2018). "Blackburn announce Amari'i Bell signing on two-and-a-half-year deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  51. ^ Robert Bailey (1 May 2019). "Here Come The Brits! - Reggae Boyz Recall For McLeary With Cardiff's Reid Leading New English Crew". The Gleaner. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  52. ^ "Games played by Amari'i Bell in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  53. ^ a b "Games played by Amari'i Bell in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  54. ^ "Games played by Amari'i Bell in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  55. ^ "Games played by Amari'i Bell in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  56. ^ Anderson, John, ed. (2018). Football Yearbook 2018–2019. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-1-4722-6106-9.
  57. ^ "PFA League One Team of the Year: Wigan & Blackburn quartets included". BBC Sport. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.

External links[edit]