BEST IN THE BUSINESS: Patrick Dolbel AFL Darling Downs U14 best and fairest winner with runner up, Lara Paget who was also the U14 leading goal kicker winner.
BEST IN THE BUSINESS: Patrick Dolbel AFL Darling Downs U14 best and fairest winner with runner up, Lara Paget who was also the U14 leading goal kicker winner. Zoe Bell

Young Chinchilla Suns leadership doesn't go unrecognised

Showing great leadership by taking their younger teammates under their wings, two young Chinchilla Suns have managed to impress in their stand out season this year.

At the AFL Darling Downs awards night held on August 25, Patrick Dolbel walked away with the U14s Col Wells Best and Fairest medal.

Competing against seven other teams in the competition, Patrick has stood out among the rest and even polled votes when playing for other clubs.

"I was pretty happy to win the award,” Dolbel said.

"It's a really good sign and just confirms to me that I'm developing as a player.”

U14 Chinchilla Suns captain, and Dolbel's fellow teammate, Lara Paget also managed to have an impressive season, receiving runner-up Best and Fairest and also taking out the Leading Goal Scorer of the competition with 34 goals.

Playing for the club since she was is U10s, Lara was also really happy to receive her awards.

"I had a pretty good season,” Paget said.

Chinchilla Suns president Troy Wischnat confirmed that the Suns have had people come close in the past, but this is the first time the club has come home with a winner.

"It's the hard work that they've put in for their skills in relations to the way they play on the field,” Wischnat said.

"But in addition to that, they have even had personal development as youth adults which has helped that as well.

"At the start of the year we laid some really core values down in regards to respect, integrity and engagement within our team.

"They have just grasped them and ran with them, which has been great.”

The two young athletes have shown great promise in their developing AFL careers, both being a part of the Darling Downs development programs and they are both currently in the Brisbane Lions academy programs.

"It has done wonders for their game,” Wischnat said.

Lara in particular shows great potential.

Finding the travelling to training a real issue, she spent last year out of the Brisbane Lions academy but was personally approached by the coach this year to rejoin, to keep her options open.

"She would love to play in the AFLW,” Wischnat said.