Ex-Blues starlet controversially released by Portsmouth quits Horsham - five days after moving from Bognor
and live on Freeview channel 276
Now the talented midfielder is seeking a third club within a fortnight as he strives to bounce back from his Fratton Park heartbreak.
Bell was one of the headline departures from the Blues’ Academy in the summer of 2021 following a controversial clear-out of second and third-year scholars.
The 19-year-old subsequently joined Isthmian Premier Division rivals Horsham on non-contract terms, making his debut against Bishop’s Stortford.
However, after being an unused substitute in the next match – a midweek trip to Enfield – Bell informed boss Dom Di Paola of his departure last week.
Di Paola told The News: ‘It was not really through our choice, Charlie said he wants to play locally.
‘I’m not sure where he’s gone or anything like that, he’s still registered at Horsham, but it was put to us that wants to play locally as he lives down that way.
‘It is a bit of a trek to our place, but we did mention that to him prior to him signing.
‘We didn’t really have him for any length of time. He did all right in his game, but hasn’t played a lot so just needs to get his fitness up.
‘It happens in football, if he lived round the corner it would be a lot easier for him to travel in, but given he’s from Portsmouth, it’s probably a little bit of an ask.
‘The boy was maybe not quite sure of distances, it’s one of those things. He said he had a couple of clubs down in Portsmouth he was looking at.
‘There are lots of factors, coming into our team, with competition for places, perhaps he wants to be guaranteed to play at the moment and get his confidence back and fitness up. We are not in a position to guarantee anyone football.
‘There’s nothing untoward about it all, I just think he drove up a couple of times, travelling on his own, and had second thoughts. For me, it’s an hour-and-a-half to get to Horsham on a bad day.
‘And he just wants to be certain he’s going to play somewhere and be able to express himself and do his bits.’
Bell featured three times for Pompey in the 2020-21 campaign, catching the eye in the Papa John’s Trophy fixtures under Kenny Jackett.
And Di Paola hopes the youngster can find a club which will allow his ability to flourish through regular first-team football.
He added: ‘Hopefully Charlie will get himself on track, he seems like a nice lad.
‘There's a player in there, he’s had some rejection and some disappointment at Pompey – and then went to Bognor and also had some disappointment and some rejection.
‘Sometimes they just need to get themselves on track. It doesn’t mean it’s the end for him, it just means he’s got to kickstart himself back into life and get himself going.
‘It has obviously not happened for him at Horsham and Bognor, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
Whether you're gazing out over the Mediterranean or spending this summer at home, take advantage of our 50% discount on an annual sports or regular digital subscription, from just £25!
We will be on the ball with all the latest Pompey news, match coverage, off-the-pitch features, and analysis from Fratton Park all year round.
Purchase your annual digital package and use promo code SUMSP50 at checkout.