Bolton held off a challenge from joint runners-up Wayne Srhoj and Josip Skoko to secure the crown in a tightly fought contest, with Aziz Behich and Matt Thompson rounding out the top five.
Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said Bolton, who produced seven clean sheets in 30 appearances, was a deserved recipient of the Player of the Year award, which seeks to recognise consistency and excellence throughout the Hyundai A-League season.
“Clint has been a great example for the group in what it means to be a professional,” van ‘t Schip said. “He takes care of himself, is very thorough in his preparation and despite possessing a significant level of experience, has still showed a great eagerness to learn.
“During the season, Clint performed well in a number of matches and was a great stabiliser at the back. His attitude and approach make him a model of what we want from our players and I hope he will enjoy an even better season next year.”
Awarded to the individual who recorded the highest cumulative performance rating during the season, the Player of the Year is the ultimate accolade for a member of the Heart squad.
At the conclusion of each match, participating players received a rating from the Heart coaching staff, with the best 20 scores across the season calculated before contributing to an overall aggregate total.
The Player of the Year wasn’t the only prize distributed on the evening, with Behich namedSupporters’ Player of the Year and John Aloisi, recipient of the Golden Boot for leading goal scorer and the Clubman Award, which honours the player who has best embodied the spirit, character and values of the Club, both on and off the field.
Team Manager Ben Coonan was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award, which recognises the staff member whose work has best reflected the ethos of the Club, while former National Soccer League referee Eugene Brazzale received the Volunteer of the Year award for his tireless work during Heart’s inaugural season.
2010/11 Melbourne Heart Awards
Player of the Year – Clint Bolton
Supporters’ Player of the Year – Aziz Behich
Clubman Award – John Aloisi
Golden Boot – John Aloisi
Chairman’s Award – Ben Coonan
Volunteer of the Year – Eugene Brazzale