United's Roy Bell linked to Cougars
ENIGMATIC Northern United fullback Roy Bell appears set to return to Casino for the 2013 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season.
The Tabulam product wouldn't be outof place at Casino after having played for the club following a two-year stint in the National Rugby League with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2004-05.
A low-range drink driving charge cost him his contract and ended his time at the top level prematurely.
The 28-year-old has played with the Dirawongs since they made the grand final in their first year in the NRRRLin 2009.
Bell also had a brief stint with the Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup in 2010 before returning to the Dirawongs midway through the season.
He took on the captain-coach role in 2011 and continued in 2012 until Les Roberts took over as captain and Ashley Moran as coach.
Bell was previously linked to Casino at the end of 2011 but nothing eventuated.
Cougars president Stuart George confirmed the club had spoken to Bell but said its first priority was to announce a first-grade coach after Troy Johnstone decided to step down after two years.
"We've held some preliminary talks but we're concentrating on securing a coach first," George said.
On his day the fleet-footed fullback is one of the best players in the NRRRL, however he is prone to the occasional brain snap.
He looked frustrated on the field at times in 2012 and was sent off twice - once for an alleged head butt and for a dangerous throw later in the season.
The Cougars are expected to announce the signing of Bell and at least one other big-name player from a rival NRRRL club in coming weeks.
A spokesman from Northern United commented on Facebook that Bell had been a great ambassador for the club and wished him well.
"Our task now is to work with what we have and develop the next generation of players within our club," he said.
"A hard task and some big shoes to fill but one we have done now for the past four years and one we will endeavour to do into the future."