Amari’i Bell is hoping to turn a disappointing play-off experience into a positive next season as he looks to build on a successful debut campaign at Kenilworth Road.
The 2021/22 season is one that will be remembered fondly by Luton fans and Amari’i alike, who after joining from Blackburn Rovers, cemented his place at left-back from the very beginning of the term.
“On a personal note, I thought it was a really good season,” Bell said when speaking exclusively to www.lutontown.co.uk. "For the team as well, it was obviously a good season for us to get in the play-offs and put ourselves in that position. It was amazing, disappointing it ended in that way because we believe we could have gone all the way but it’s football, it gets tough sometimes."
Defining the odds to reach the play-offs didn’t take away the bitter feeling the 28-year-old was left with after the match, admitting: “It was tough after that, I felt so low, I didn’t want to watch any football or anything but when you actually take a bit of time and reflect on how the season had gone, it’s definitely something you can be proud of.”
The travelling supporters were a major positive on the night after making themselves heard from minute one at the John Smith’s Stadium, as the defender admitted just how impressed he has been by the Town faithful.
“The fans here have been amazing all season. I didn’t actually expect them to be that good, they are even better than I thought. They are always behind us from the first to the last minute and obviously that is what you need. When games are tough and you need something to change, that can be the fans giving us that momentum in the team.”
Touching on his personal contribution, Bell played 46 matches in all competitions, the first time he has surpassed 40 appearances since the 2018/19 campaign.
“I’m not going to lie I was a bit tired towards the end, but it was good to play that many games in a season.
“I haven’t played that many for a good few years now, so it was definitely good to play as many games as I did. I’m just hoping I can stay fit and play as many as possible next season.”
The Jamaica international revealed his big hopes for the 2022/23 campaign but said, “first and foremost we want to keep everyone together which is sometimes hard when you do well. We want to improve. The aims and ambitions will probably be to better last season, whether that is top two, or a third or fourth placed finish.”
On a personal note – “Playing as many games as I can, and I want to contribute more in attack with goals and assists. Winning my duels defensively is something I pride myself on, so those three things are key.
“Scoring my first goal against Barnsley was nice, even when I got the assist with Eli (Elijah Adebayo) after that nice bit of play against Millwall. Those moments make you feel good and I just want to experience more of those.”