The 36 year-old feared their season had been over in March but he wound up winning the league with Thistle

The 36 year-old feared their season had been over in March but he wound up winning the league with Thistle

Rewind to March that is early and Bell feared he wouldn’t kick another ball all period as East Kilbride were unable to try out because of the Lowland League suspended.

However, news quickly emerged that League One and Two would return and also the 36 year-old received a call from his former supervisor at Dundee United and Ayr United, Ian McCall.

The Partick Thistle boss wished to include experience and depth to his squad for a name push and Bell had been simply pleased to be provided the opportunity to lace his boots up once again after the strangest of periods.

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Even though the veteran centre-back had been brought in to supply address, Bell established himself as an integrated member of a dominant side that is thistle clinched the League One title in style.

“It’s been a little surreal,” Bell admitted. “My final game for East Kilbride had been regarding the 27th of December and I also ended up being kept convinced that my season ended up being completed that was a tough someone to take.

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“ I got the chance to come to Thistle through the gaffer and I’ve not looked back since. He provided me with a call and asked if I’d be interested in coming in to enhance the squad and I jumped at it.

“In our very first discussion, he explained that Thistle had a set team and that I’d be properly used as back-up because of the amount of games in that short period.

“It was never set in stone that I’d play that often but soccer is very competitive and if you perform well then you certainly will stay static in the team – that’s what happened.

“Thistle is really a really big club. I’m born and raised in Glasgow and a few of my mates are Thistle fans so to be given the opportunity to come right here, inside my age, ended up being a thing that I really couldn’t knock straight back.

“I didn’t realise how big the club until I arrived but although there’s been no fans, you can tell how large a club it’s – it’s nevertheless got that Premiership feel about this.

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“I’m positively over the moon regarding how it is turned out for everybody.”

Bell’s introduction at half-time against East Fife on Tuesday, April 6 had been the catalyst for Thistle embarking on a remarkable run of clean sheets.

The Jags were trailing 2-0 at the period and sitting in sixth place using their title dreams in tatters.

But, Thistle rescued a 2-2 draw before recording five consecutive clean sheets during five wins as belief grew that automated advertising towards the Championship ended up being still achievable.

Bell added: “I came on against East Fife, played well and I’ve was able to maintain that throughout the period.

“You could understand confidence increase since the results acquired and also the group just picked itself for that run of type.

“ I was watching players we put on each other was such a big factor in winning the league around me performing to such a high standard and the demands.

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“The strikers were viewing the defenders place their health exactly in danger which sets force on it to score objectives – that they did.

“It was a real team effort. The administration group deserves a lot of credit because they kept thinking we’re able to win it and that kept us going at a couple of hard moments.”

Bell is an experienced campaigner and possesses leadership characteristics which enhanced a close-knit squad that developed a mentality that is winning.

“It’s a good band of men,” Bell added. “Throughout my job, I’ve been fortunate to be always a part of good dressing rooms but this is certainly definitely up there.

You always have a chance of achieving something special“If you’ve got a good dressing room then. That’s not just the starting eleven but every person in the squad and mentoring staff.

“There is really a genuine togetherness in this group also it’s the senior players who’ve aided kind that in the dressing space since the younger lads lookup to them.

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“Obviously, I am able to bring my experience but it’s down seriously to the players around me personally like Richard Foster and Darren Brownlie.

“I’ve also had Stuart Bannigan and Ross Docherty right in front of me personally who assist protect the defence and produce passing triangles.

“I’ve used Ross for a couple years and we have excellent relationship and we discover how to play together.

Thistle boss McCall has praised Bell’s soothing impact into the dressing space and their impact since making a starting berth.

The pair have actually enjoyed a close relationship for nearly 20 years and Bell thinks McCall’s man-management – which he believes has enhanced over the years – was a vital component in Thistle’s success.

He stated: “I’ve worked for him at three various clubs. I became I was just 17 at Dundee United and he won’t mind me saying this but he’s changed for the better with him when.

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