Former Mackay junior Will Bella (middle) had a season to remember for Palm Beach Currumbin in the QAFL Colts, winning the grand final and being named league best and fairest. Photo: Nelpix
Former Mackay junior Will Bella (middle) had a season to remember for Palm Beach Currumbin in the QAFL Colts, winning the grand final and being named league best and fairest. Photo: Nelpix

Bella caps dream season with dual best and fairest honours

FORMER Sarina Demons and Bakers Creek Tigers junior Will Bella has done his AFL draft stocks no harm with an individual season to be remembered.

The 17 year old ended his 2020 campaign with a league best and fairest, club best and fairest and QAFL Colts premiership medal.

In an age of midfielders hogging the headlines, so dominant was the ruckman’s season with Palm Beach Currumbin that his Keith Wallis Medal win as the competition’s best player was met with almost universal agreement.

Bella’s already incredible year was then made even better when PBC romped to a 20-point grand final win over Broadbeach.

The Lions came from 30 points down at three-quarter time, piling on eight goals to Broadbeach’s none in a stunning reversal of fortune that will forever remain one of Bella’s fondest footy memories.

Palm Beach Currumbin came from 30 points down at ¾ time to win the QAFL Colts grand final. Mackay’s Will Bella (back right) played a key role in his second season at the club. Photo: Nelpix
Palm Beach Currumbin came from 30 points down at ¾ time to win the QAFL Colts grand final. Mackay’s Will Bella (back right) played a key role in his second season at the club. Photo: Nelpix

“When the siren went it was just great. Tears of joy and all that,” he said.

“Getting to celebrate with all my mates and the senior boys and the supporters when they ran on the field … it was great to hear that final siren go and have all our hard work pay off.”

He then capped his stellar season by winning PBC’s Colts best and fairest honour at the club’s awards evening last week.

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It was a fairytale end to a topsy-turvy 2020 for Bella, which started with the postponement of the Gold Coast Suns Academy program and a tough call to forgo a senior season at the Lions to remain with the Colts.

“It was pretty unlucky at the start of the year because I was in the Suns Academy and we put in a big pre-season, only to see that go out the window. That was a bit frustrating,” he said.

“With all the COVID stuff a lot of the NEAFL boys dropped back (to QAFL). I was looking at playing seniors, but because a heap of better players dropped back I thought, ‘well, I won’t really get a run in the seniors, so I might as well try to have a good Colts season’.

“Obviously (it was) a good season, to hopefully get the ball rolling for my draft year next year.”

Standing at 196cm, Bella has all the physical traits to be a damaging ruck/key forward at AFL level.

He has modelled his game on Port Adelaide star Charlie Dixon who fittingly is also a north Queensland product, born in Cairns, and was part of the Suns’ inaugural AFL side in 2011.

Hopeful of football normality returning next year, Bella plans to double down on his off-season training regimen and get himself in the best possible shape for a return to the Suns Academy in 2021.

Impress there, and an invite to the AFL draft and subsequent place on an AFL list could soon follow.

Gold Coast Suns AFLW player Lauren Bella pictured at the age of 10 playing for a Sarina Demons-Bakers Creek combination side with brother William Bella (middle in yellow and black) who was 8. Photo: Supplied.
Gold Coast Suns AFLW player Lauren Bella pictured at the age of 10 playing for a Sarina Demons-Bakers Creek combination side with brother William Bella (middle in yellow and black) who was 8. Photo: Supplied.

With his sister Lauren already a household name as a member of the Suns’ AFLW side, Will said it would be “a dream come true” to play for the same club.

“That would be exciting. But if not I’d just like to get drafted by any club and play AFL footy,” he said.

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