Bolton reflects on Player of the Year award


Melbourne Heart FC will announce its Player of the Year tomorrow night – an award inaugural and back-to-back winner Clint Bolton is all too familiar with.

Melbourne Heart FC will announce its Player of the Year tomorrow night – an award inaugural and back-to-back winner Clint Bolton is all too familiar with.

Bolton, who won the accolade in the Club-s inaugural season in 2010-11 before making it consecutive medals following a successful second season in Red and White, spoke with melbourneheartfc.com.au to give readers an insight into the award.

The award is presented to the Melbourne Heart player who recorded the highest cumulative performance rating during the season and is regarded as the ultimate accolade for a member of the Heart squad.

But Bolton remains modest about his achievements, despite edging out competition in the first year from Josip Skoko, John Aloisi, Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone.

“These individual honours are never on your radar to begin with; they-re always something in hindsight that when you win them, you reflect and feel whether you are deserving or not,” Bolton said.

“And I-m not sure I was in season one to be honest.”

A “patchy” period of form in season one – the by-product of a shoulder injury which had been causing Bolton some discomfort – made Bolton view his first medal as a surprise.

“It-s hard to remember the exact emotion, I-m pretty sure I was pleasantly surprised and honoured because I love the Club,” Bolton said.

“I love the people involved, I love the vision of this Club and it-s a Club which is very warm and opening, and has been very open to me and embracing me as a person, so from that regard I was very humbled and honoured that JVS [former Head Coach John van-t Schip] was handing me the award, which was special.

“It-s reflective of what you do on the field, but I would like to think that a part of it would be attributed to what you do off the field as well.”

Bolton was a deserving winner in season two after he produced seven clean sheets and earned selection in the PFA-s A-League team of the Year after a standout campaign in 2011-12.

“I had a much more consistent season, playing at a higher level and making some big saves and had more influence on the outcome of games so from that point of view I definitely had a better season,” Bolton said.

And on winning two in a row?

“It-s an honour, it-s special and it-s something I-ll reflect on,” Bolton said.

The award is so synonymous with Bolton, that fans have requested the award be renamed the ‘Clint Bolton Medal’.

“If it was [renamed], it would make my mum-s life, she would love it,” Bolton said.

But Bolton would rather the award remains unchanged.

“No is the simple answer, I am just happy to have won it,” Bolton said.

“Winning the awards were great, they were special.

“But I-m happy for it to stay just the Melbourne Heart Player of the Year, just make it the team thing, it-s a team game and that-s the way I have treated the game since I started.”

With Bolton’s reduced involvement in first team action this season, there may be a new name etched on the trophy after season three.

“It-s pretty hard to pick, I think the obvious front-runners are Patrick [Gerhardt] and Richie [Richard Garcia],” Bolton said.