TOM BELL must have thought he'd won the lotto when he joined the Brisbane Lions and found out who his midfield coach was.

After four years at Carlton playing alongside and learning from Chris Judd, Bell walked into the Lions' den to be mentored by Simon Black.

Not many players get that sort of access to two of the greatest midfielders of the past 20 years. 

Black and Judd have combined for more than 600 games, won four premierships, three Brownlow Medals, two Norm Smith Medals and nine All Australians selections. 

For Bell, it's about picking up the little things. 

He described the pair as the "ultimate professionals" and said working with them had been a great experience. 

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"I've been working closely with Simon Black and we've had a few focuses I've had to nut out and a few negatives in my game I'm working on," Bell said. 

"He constantly tells me to do the extras. You want to do one more (thing) than your opponent. 

"Blacky's great like that." 

Bell has been a breath of fresh air at the Lions since returning to his home state in the off-season.

He comes from a running background, and along with North Melbourne recruit Ryan Bastinac, has led the way for much of the pre-season.

After the Blues took Bell in the 2011 Rookie Draft, the powerhouse Brisbane product steadily improved year after year, playing all 22 games in 2015 and finishing fourth in Carlton's best and fairest. 

His disposal is still sometimes questionable – although it is improving all the time – but his real game-changing attributes come from his ability to burst from packs and take strong overhead grabs when he drifts forward.

Bell will play his first game in Lions colours on Sunday, when they open their NAB Challenge campaign against Gold Coast at Burpengary. 

"It's obviously pretty exciting - I grew up supporting the Lions," he said.

"I've been waiting for the moment for a long time."