Detre Bell aims to make extra year count at Louisville
Detre Bell pauses for a brief moment to catch his breath and quench his thirst during another intense weightlifting session at the gym.
The Bermudian goalkeeper has sacrificed his spare time to work out in the gym on his day off from practice with NCAA Division 1 outfit University of Louisville.
Bell wipes away the sweat from his face as he glances out the window, his thoughts fixated on a burning desire to showcase his talents in the Major League Soccer.
“It’s kind of hard not to think about it every day when you are training with players that will be going to MLS teams in the summer,” he told The Royal Gazette. “Also, thinking about it every day motivates me to train hard on the field, do the extra rep in the gym and run that extra mile.
“Playing in the MLS has always been a dream of mine and is something I am working very hard on achieving. It is a goal I will be working so hard over the summer to reach.”
Sacrificing his spare time to do extras to enhance his chances of fulfilling his professional ambition is not uncommon for the son of Derek Bell, the late Hotels International and Bermuda midfielder.
“Every day off we get from training I still go for a run and the gym after, which is twice a week,” he added.
Bell is a new addition to the University of Louisville’s football team having transferred to the college from California State University Bakersfield last December.
“I was supposed to be done with college soccer and moved on, but because of the pandemic the NCAA has allowed all players an extra year to play,” he said. “And, because I was graduating with my bachelor’s degree [Liberal Studies] in December, I was allowed to transfer to a different school so I entered the transfer portal.
“The reason why I wanted to transfer was because I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to play at the professional level, and I just didn’t feel my old school provided that opportunity for me.
“Louisville is a high-power programme playing in the best conference for college soccer, the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“Because I got here in January, I will be back in the fall to finish out my last season playing college soccer and hopefully move on to the professional level.”
The North Village player thrived with his former college playing in the Western Athletic Conference, where he earned both All-WAC Team and WAC Player of the Week honours.
And he continues to impress between the posts having hit the ground running since his arrival at the University of Louisville.
“I have been playing really well this spring and just trying to keep that momentum going for the rest of this season into the fall,” Bell said.
The 23-year-old has made a seamless transition to University of Louisville coach John Hayden’s roster.
“The minute I got here I got right in and was feeling comfortable,” Bell said.
“The reason I think is because I would be considered an older player with experience. The players saw what I could do, so I gained respect from my team-mates.”