Nerimbera player in the running for Player of the Year
FOOTBALL: Seventeen-year-old Ben Dingley is the youngest player in the running for the CQ Premier League's Division 1 Player of the Year.
The hard-working Nerimbera midfielder said he was "honoured and privileged” to be nominated for the award.
He is up against Frenchville's Tim Zimitat, Bluebirds' Andrew Poyser, Central's Garth Lawrie and Southside United's Trent Benson for the top honour.
Dingley said he was proud to be ranked among the best players in a competition that boasted so much talent.
"It's really exciting but it's completely unexpected,” he said.
"I just go out and try to do the best I can in each game.
"I've tried to be fearless and work as hard as possible for my teammates.
"The coach had more faith in me this year and I've grown more confident with every game.”
Dingley said despite Nerimbera finishing at the bottom of the ladder, there were promising signs.
"Towards the end of the season we really started to compete.
"We're really young; half the the team is 17 and we've only got three or four boys who are over 20.
"We're all keen to learn and it's going to be interesting to see how we go in future years.”
Dingley said he was getting stronger and felt this season he was able to match it with his more senior rivals.
"It's just a joy to be able to play in the Premier League because there are some really good players involved,” he said.
"I'm hoping that next season the team can push for a top four spot and I can keep playing some good football.
"I want to become one of the stand-out players in this competition and eventually take the step to the next level.”
Nerimbera coach Scott Thomson said Dingley had an exceptional season and his nomination was thoroughly deserved.
"It is a big achievement for a 17-year-old,” he said.
"Ben's progress was outstanding this year, not only on the park but as a leader on and off the field.
"At the back end of the season, he actually captained the team for five or so games.
"He has one of the best work rates across the park that I've seen in years. That's probably going to be his greatest strength as he develops into a senior footballer.
"He is very committed; everything he does is about football.”
The CQ Premier League Division 1 Player of the Year will be named after the grand final between Clinton and Cap Coast in Gladstone on Saturday night.