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Tom Lynch claims first Club Champion Award

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Tom Lynch of the Suns celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL round 21 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Essendon Bombers at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast, Australia on August 22, 2015. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)

Tom Lynch has claimed his first Club Champion Award, taking out the honour in front of Kade Kolodjashnij and Steven May in a nail biting finish at a sold out event at Sharks Event Centre on the Gold Coast.

After taking the lead from Kolodjashnij following a best on ground performance against Adelaide in round 17, Lynch didn’t relinquish his grip on the award, holding out Kolodjashnij by just two votes, becoming just the third SUN after Gary Ablett and David Swallow to win the award

Lynch polled a total of 131 votes, to win the award from Kolodjashnij (129) and May (102).

The hard-working key forward elevated his game to another level in 2015, following up his breakout 2014 campaign with an even better season. Lynch played 20 of a possible 22 games, and was the club’s leading goalkicker for the second season in a row with 43 goals.

Lynch polled 80 of his 131 votes during a dominant seven-game patch between round’s 15 to 21. The seven round period included inspirational performances against the Adelaide Crows in round 17 and Brisbane in round 19.

Despite falling narrowly short to Lynch, Kolodjashnij’s consistency was highlighted throughout the year. The Tasmanian demonstrated no signs of second-year blues, polling in 16 matches, including nine of the first 11 games of the season.

Following a brilliant debut season in 2014, Kolodjashnij was one of only two SUNS to play all 22 matches in 2015. His composure with the ball was outstanding, while his radar-like left boot set up attack from defence as he became Gold Coast’s architect from behind the ball.

Steven May’s continued improvement didn't go unnoticed. The key defender flew home in the second half of the season, picking up 87 of his 102 votes after round 14, to finish in third place, despite missing three games early in the season for a controversial bump on Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff.

He hit a purple patch between rounds 17 to 20, producing commanding performances on Coleman Medallist Josh Kennedy, Taylor Walker and Jack Riewoldt, resulting in May polling 56 votes in a dominant four rounds.

In other awards presented at a gala GC SUNS club championship:-

  • Community Award – Tom Nicholls
  • NEAFL Player of the Year Award – Tyrone Downie
  • Elastoplast Most Improved Award – Kade Kolodjashnij
  • HOSTPLUS Most Professional Award – Andrew Raines
  • Players’ Player Award – Tom Lynch

2015 Gold Coast SUNS Club Champion Top Ten

1st – Tom Lynch 131
2nd – Kade Kolodjashnij 129
3rd – Steven May 102
4th – Touk Miller 77
5th – Michael Rischitelli 64
6th – Charlie Dixon 63
7th – Aaron Hall 60
8th – Adam Saad 48
9th – Gary Ablett 46
10th – Brandon Matera 41

Gold Coast SUNS Club Champion Voting System
The Gold Coast SUNS match committee, comprising of the senior coach and four assistant coaches can award votes to an unlimited number of players per match. A player can receive a maximum of five votes, from each individual member of the match committee, therefore the maximum number of votes a player can receive per round totals 25.

2014 Gold Coast SUNS Club Champion Top Ten
1st – David Swallow 240
2nd – Tom Lynch 233
3rd – Dion Prestia 230
4th – Gary Ablett 190
5th – Jaeger O’Meara 178
6th – Steven May 173
7th – Jarrod Harbrow 137
8th – Michael Rischitelli 120
9th – Harley Bennell 119
10th – Greg Broughton 112