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Amari'i Bell signs new contract to remain a Hatter!

28 June 2023

Club News

Amari'i Bell signs new contract to remain a Hatter!

28 June 2023

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We are excited to announce that Amari’i Bell has become the latest of last season’s Championship promotion-winning squad to agree a new contract to remain at Kenilworth Road.

Currently away with the Jamaica squad on Gold Cup duty in the US, the 29-year-old joined the Hatters in the summer of 2021 after spending three-and-a-half years with Blackburn Rovers, and has been a mainstay of the defence that reached the Championship play-off places two years in a row.

Initially signed as a left-back or wing-back, the former Birmingham youngster – who first endeared himself to Town fans by scoring the goal for loan club Kidderminster against Cambridge United that secured the Hatters the 2013-14 Conference title – has established himself as a left-sided centre-back in recent months.

Bell marked his 97th appearance for the club with another outstanding display in the play-off final victory over Coventry at Wembley, earning promotion to the Premier League for the first time in a career that has seen him rack up almost 400 matches.

Amari'i Bell at the Championship play-off trophy parade.

“It’s an opportunity that everyone wants to take, and I can’t wait for it,” said the former Fleetwood man after signing his new contract remotely from the Jamaican camp. “It was just a matter of time, but I’m so happy to get it done and now all I can think about is coming back and getting ready for the season ahead.”

First though, he has his sights on glory with his country, stressing that the injury that saw him carried off on a stretcher in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the highly-fancied hosts is not serious, as Bell and the Reggae Boyz prepare to face Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday.

Looking further ahead, he talks about the prospect of playing in the top flight, adding: “The excitement, I don’t think words can describe it. I think all the boys were waiting for the fixture list to come out and when we saw it, the achievement sinks in.

“It’s definitely an opportunity that I’m going to grasp with both hands and make it count. We can all have a huge sense of pride that we’ve achieved something like this in our career.

“Making my debut for Jamaica was amazing, but without the fans there it was dimmed down a little, so Wembley has to be the best moment of my career. That feeling of getting promoted was crazy. Earlier on today I was just looking at the videos and pictures of that moment, and it’s still giving me butterflies a month on!”

Amari'i Bell celebrating at Wembley Stadium with his Jamaican flag.

Equally delighted to get his man signed up again, Town boss Rob Edwards said: “If he wasn’t already, Amari’i quickly became one of our most important players after we came in. From our first game when he got sent off against Middlesbrough, to how he performed in the play-off final, in that second half of the season he was outstanding.

“I know he had done it before, but with us changing his position slightly, I thought he took to it so well. He’s an experienced player, but I think he’s shown more confidence and belief in himself, more maturity in his play, more bravery. He was stepping in and at times overlapping.

“You think about the first goal in the 2-2 draw against Millwall, when Elijah scored, and our outside centre-back is crossing it there for Cody at the far post. So it’s not just his defensive work, which I thought was brilliant, but also his football and allowing us to add a different dimension to our play. 

“He was a key to that, so to get his contract sorted is really pleasing. Amari’i is a big part of what we do. We love him. He’s a brilliant guy and like with Luke Berry, it is important for us to keep that core who have been successful.

“He’s another player who thoroughly deserves the opportunity to play Premier League football.”

Rob Edwards embraces Amari'i Bell at Wembley Stadium.

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