Finally we get to the end of this utterly bizarre season marred by everything, and with an AGM and election still to come. I'm not sure how much more I can take, but here goes.
Player of the year: Fernando De Moraes had this sewn up half way through the season. Then Peter Zois did his thing, rescuing us from several beatings. But Fernando was just so good to watch, he brought others into games and even took out the VPL's player of the year award. Zois' defection to Oakleigh had nothing to do with my decision.
Under 21 player of the year: The Cliff Hussey Memorial Trophy goes to Stefaan Sardelic. Under 21s players in the senior squad were incredibly thin on the ground in 2010. Sam Torrens and Sash Vranesevic were the only two outfield players under that category at the beginning of the year, and both departed for more opportunities elsewhere during the season. Sardelic's performance in the Singapore Cup quarter finals though were more than enough reason to give this award by default.
Goal of the year: Fernando's curling shot from outside the box, late in the away game against Bentleigh, giving us a hard fought 1-0 win in the rain and slush out at Kingston Heath. One of those shots you knew was in pretty much instantly.
Best performance: The second leg against Bangkok Glass. No doubt.
Best away game of the year: Oakleigh away. We won, and we had some fun afterwards at the train station with the vending machine. Nothing illegal, mind.
Call of the year: Quack. I'm not sure it actually quacked even once, but whatever,
Chant of the year: I spent a lot of time away from Clarendon Corner this season, for obvious reasons, but the rendition of the Pink Panther theme in loving tribute to Dandenong Thunder keeper Stuart Webster's all pink outfit (except for his black socks) was clever and tasteful. Runner up was the medley of classic chants run through during the last game at Lakeside.
Best retrieval and return of a ball that had gone over the fence: Gains against Sunshine at Northcote. The ball had gone over the fence for a corner. Gains threw the ball gently over the fence, only for it to roll around right into the corner arc, to mild applause from those paying attention. Only for the player taking the corner to adjust the blessed thing anyway. Poor form.
Best after match dinner location: Well, we ended up going to several places during the season - I even went with Steve (aka Chris Griffin) to Subway once, but I never eat there, because if I want an overpriced baguette style sandwich I'll get it from Waffle On in Degraves Street. Es Teler 77, a cheap Indo place on Swanston Street near Melbourne Central wins this because of its Ayam Balado, spicy deep fried chicken served with steamed rice and chicken broth.
Friends we lost along the way: Old Blacky. Rest In Pieces. And Aussie Disposals Blue and White No. 1.