Fremantle playing great Peter Bell is poised for a stunning appointment as Dockers football manager.
A member of the AFL Hall of Fame after his impressive playing career at North Melbourne and Fremantle Bell has emerged as front-runner to make a stunning switch from high profile West Australian media and Dockers board member into his troubled club’s football administration.
Dockers management is urgently seeking new football staff following shock departures of list manager Brad Lloyd to Carlton last month and then footy boss Chris Bond early this week.
Bell refused to rule out whether he could join Fremantle in a full-time appointment.
He expects a full selection process to be undertaken by a panel appointed by Dockers board of directors.
"I'm not running any commentary on any potential candidates," Bell said on ABC radio.
"The facts of the matter are that there will be a formal process to make an appointment of the two football positions down at Fremantle.
"The process has to commence and neither the club nor I will be running any commentary on any potential candidates.
"So, that's where it is at."
Dockers powerbrokers are also frantically lobbying to avoid losing star midfielder Lachie Neale who is considering seeking a trade to Brisbane on an impressive multi-million dollar for up to five years.
Neale is expected to win Fremantle’s fairest-and-best award next month on the back of his near All-Australian selection season averaging 30 disposals and making seven clearances an outing and finishing among his side’s top players at least 16 of 22 games.
He was the Dockers best-afield at least eight times this year.
Bell sprang swiftly late last week to meet with Neale as Dockers officials initiated discussions on a possible lucrative counter offer in a bid to keep the highly regarded player and leader away from leaving.
Neale, 25, held discussions with chief executive Steve Rosich and then held more discussions on Wednesday back in Perth with coach Ross Lyon.
Top Dockers players and staff are roundly, while reluctantly, declaring widespread alarm that Neale appears destined to leave Fremantle.
Rosich is formulating a short list of candidates for interviews likely to start as early as next week.
Bell, 42, has been considering a switch into football administration through discussions with close confidants for at least the past 12 months.
He is breakfast host at ABC radio in Perth and prolific in football commentary spots with the national broadcaster and Channel Seven at AFL and local levels.
Bell has no previous day-to-day football administrational credentials.
He played 123 games at North where Bell was an accomplished member of the Roos 1996 and ’99 premiership teams before crossing to Fremantle in 2000 and put together 161 appearances before he retired mid-season in 2008.
If he is appointed as Dockers football boss, he will beat a field that is expected to include approaches to some leading AFL operations and list management exponents.
Rosich will be joined on a panel searching for new staff by another former Dockers and North Melbourne player Peter Mann and chairman Dale Alcock.