Nothing can break this Bull Shark’s bond

September 8, 2022

Mitch Dell was told his season was over after he broke his wrist – but then a teammate with healing hands fast-tracked his return for the finals.

The 21-year-old will line up for the Bull Sharks on Sunday morning in the QFA Division 2 Souths reserves Grand Final against long term foes the Burleigh Bombers.

The showdown at Sir Bruce Small Park in Benowa will be a rematch of last year’s decider, which went Burleigh’s way.

“They’re our cross-town rival, our grounds are five minutes from each other. They’ve got great culture and they’re good every single year, so you always know they’re going to be tough,” Dell said.

“They’re a very strong, well-built team, great depth, their reserves have been on top all season.”

The half-back flank never imagined he would be featuring in the decider after he broke his wrist in the final two minutes of the round nine match against Ballina. 

Dell, who graduated from Bond with a Bachelor of Sport Management earlier this year, was sidelined for 12 weeks. He became the team runner on game days and volunteered around the club.

He credits his vice-captain for speeding up his recovery.

“Ryan Cook is an occupational therapist and he did a fair bit to help me. I was seeing him at his work and getting treated by him - he looked after me really well,” Dell said.

Even before his injury, Dell had paved an unlikely path to play for Bond in the Grand Final.

He spent the pre-season with the Southport Sharks before joining the Surfers Paradise Demons, where he played three games.

But the camaraderie at Bond couldn’t be matched, so he returned to the fold.

It also helps that seven Bull Sharks players hail from his original football club in Tasmania - Davenport.

“I missed my mates and the culture at the club. Thankfully it’s all worked out pretty well as we are playing in the Grand Final and I will hopefully win a grand final with my mates, so it’s worked out well.”

Away from football Dell works as a healthcare recruiter with Australian Health Professionals in Southport.