THE grassroots appeal of playing football for a country town is among Nathan Bell's reasons for leaving Golden Square to join Wedderburn.
After four Bendigo Football League premierships with Golden Square, star midfielder Bell is headed to the Redbacks in the North Central Football League.
The Redbacks are being coached by Bell's former Golden Square team-mate Luke Rosa, while Wedderburn's recruits also include another of Square's stars during its BFL dominance in Mark Lloyd.
"I've stewed on the decision for a while, but coming from a small country town (Tantanoola) where I played juniors, I'm keen to get back to grassroots footy and finish off my career at a club where the whole community gets behind it and there's a real country feel to it," Bell said on Wednesday.
"And it's also a chance to play under two of my good mates in Rosa and Lloydy, so I'm looking forward to it."
Bell - as well as being a BFL inter-league representative - played in Golden Square's 2009, '10, '11 and '13 flags.
Renowned as a big-game player, Bell won grand final best-on-ground medals in 2009 and last year.
"Belly has been a super player for us and a really good servant of the club, so it's disappointing to see him go, but we understand he's keen for a change and has some work circumstances that means playing at Wedderburn is probably the better option," Bulldogs coach Nick Carter said.
"We support him and have the utmost respect for the decision he has made.
"We'll now move forward and try to find someone to replace him, and I'm confident we've got young and up-and-coming guys who can step up to the plate.
"Guys like Dale Lowry are ready to go to the next level as an inside midfielder and Jack Daley, even though he's a few years younger, still has an enormous amount of upside as an inside midfielder.
"I'm really confident we have the younger guys who can be good players at senior level this year."