Steve Bell Challenge winners St Patrick’s under-10 with Bell (right) defeated Dysart in the final 20-8 at McIndoe Park on Friday.
Steve Bell Challenge winners St Patrick’s under-10 with Bell (right) defeated Dysart in the final 20-8 at McIndoe Park on Friday.

Juniors play to the Bell

FORMER Queensland Maroon and Central Highlands junior Steve Bell couldn’t help but feel a touch of nostalgia watching the rugby league youngsters battle it out for a shield named in his honour.

“It was good, it reminded me of when I was a kid playing footy,” he said.

Last year he was in Europe playing with French Super League side Catalans Dragons and missed the junior competition’s maiden hit-out. This year he had a ringside seat to watch first-hand as Emerald’s St Patrick’s School ran home convincing 20-8 winners over Dysart in the final.

Bell joined teams from around the Highlands as far north as Middlemount and Moranbah and west to Anakie and Alpha for the one-day tournament.

He said it was a strange feeling watching the offspring of the opposition he used to come up against, now in the same local league.

Coming from the man with plenty of experience, Bell said juniors only needed to keep their ears open to see their football dreams become a reality.

“Just know if you keep working hard, things can happen and anything is possible,” he said.

“But listen to your coach, that’s most important.”

Central Highlands development officer Andrew Lawrence said he hoped to expand their 12-team format further afield in the coming years with an outlook to include up to 20 teams.

Aaron Moore was named St Patrick’s best in the final and Jack Waera-Howarth for Dysart.


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