Through 15 SEABL seasons with Bendigo Braves, BSSC Alumnus Taylor Bell has been happy for team-mates to take the spotlight.
That may prove a little harder than usual this weekend, when the 31-year-old takes to the court for the 350th time in the Braves’ blue and yellow.
Bell, a two-time national championship player in 2005 and 2016, reaches the milestone in Friday night’s clash against long-time rival Mount Gambier Pioneers at Bendigo Stadium.
The 2018 co-captain has also played in conference grand final wins in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2016.
Bell is the club’s second longest-serving player of all-time, behind only Chris Hogan, who notched his 400th game earlier this season, coincidently against the Pioneers in Mount Gambier.
Not surprisingly for a player and club person, who has devoted so much in the way of toil, perseverance and perspiration to the Braves’ cause, Bell was more eager to talk up the team’s chances against Mount Gambier than his own personal achievement.
“Milestone games are something I don’t really focus on, I’m more worried with how the team is travelling and how our season is looking,” he said.
“It is good to have those little achievements, but Mount Gambier is a very important challenge in terms of our season.
“We need to get as many wins as possible from this point on.
“We had a pretty good week away from the court (in the lead-up to last week’s two-point win over Canberra Gunners); we sat down as a group and set some goals that we need to achieve as individuals and a team.
“If we can achieve those, we’ll be looking alright come finals time.”
Bell, who played his first SEABL season as a 16-year-old under former coach Wayne Larkins, is the consummate team player, willing to accept any role his coaches ask of him.
His easy-going and selfless disposition was again on show last week against Canberra, when Bell was assigned a starting role.
“It was a bit of a different role for me; In my 350 games I don’t think there’s been too many that I’ve started,” he said.
“Where our season is at, we just needed a different look.
“Whether it stays that way, that’s Ben Harvey’s decision and I’ll fully support that.”
With the Braves’ season in the balance at 7-5 and in eighth position, Bell was ever comfortable with his decision to rethink his decision to retire at the end of an injury-plagued 2017 season, which yielded just six games.
He is undecided on whether this season will be his last.
“Where I am at with work, I have a pretty constant job,” he said.
“I talk to Hoges and Harves each off-season and see what they’re doing and just go from there.
“But I will always be around the club and be willing to help out the younger guys, whether I’m playing or not playing.