Father's illness takes its toll on Carlton's Bell

Tom Bell will be playing for the Brisbane Lions next season.
Tom Bell will be playing for the Brisbane Lions next season. DAVID MOIR

Carlton half-forward Tom Bell looks certain to become the second Queensland-bred player in 12 months to join the Brisbane Lions because of the ill health of their father.

The 24-year- old (pictured), who was originally recruited by the Blues from Morningside as a rookie, officially requested a trade to the Lions yesterday, his manager Peter Blucher revealing his father, Stephen, was battling cancer.

"He wants to go back home to spend more time with him. His family lives 3km from the Gabba. He has asked the Blues to do a deal if they can," Blucher told Trade Radio.

"Sometimes things are more important than just football."

Bell should follow Collingwood premiership player and former Southport player Dayne Beams, who was traded to the Lions at the end of last season to be near his dad Phil, who has battled bowel cancer.

Sure to be a prominent player during the trade period, which begins on Monday following the start of free agency period yesterday, Blucher also said another of his clients, Brendan Whitecross, should look for greener pastures after enduring two knee reconstructions while at Hawthorn.

A Brisbane boy recruited from the Zillmere Eagles, the 25-year-old has been linked with the Lions.

"I think he needs to move on and get a fresh start," Blucher said. "I think he'd be an outstanding pickup for a new club if he was to decide he wanted to leave."
The first official paperwork during the AFL's annual meat market, meanwhile, was lodged yesterday, with Scott Selwood formally requesting a move from West Coast to Geelong as a restricted free agent.

The Eagles have three days to either match the Cats' offer or let him go and join his brother, Geelong skipper Joel.

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