Bolton surprised to earn Player of the Year honor

Goalkeeper Clint Bolton has admitted he was surprised to secure a second successive Melbourne Heart FC Player of the Year award last week.

Goalkeeper Clint Bolton has admitted he was surprised to secure a second successive Melbourne Heart FC Player of the Year award last week.

Bolton, 35, was undoubtedly one of the stars of the Red and White-s campaign, producing seven clean sheets and four penalty saves, earning external recognition when he was named as part of the PFA-s A-League Team of the Season.

While the four-time Socceroo acknowledged he enjoyed a vintage season, Bolton felt the level of competition he would face from the likes of Mate Dugandzic, Fred and Michael Marrone would see him miss out on picking up the Heart-s ultimate individual honour.

“I thought I would be a shot, but obviously there were quite a few boys who had a good run this season,” he said.

“I felt I would be in the mix but it-s obviously a surprise and a huge honour when your name gets shouted out.”

Reflecting on the season that was, Bolton looks back with mixed emotions, admitting the nature of Heart-s finals exit ended the campaign on a somewhat sour note.

However, given the advances made across all facets of the Club, Bolton says it would be remiss of him and the playing group to cast a campaign which ultimately yielded significant breakthroughs in such a light.

“Our goal was to make top six, we did that, but once we got there, we felt we could have done a bit better,” he said.

“We didn-t have the best of games against Perth, so it was a disappointing end, but overall, when we look back at the season, we-ve made huge strides on the field, which is complementing all our good work off the park.”

He added: “We won-t dwell on it too much. It-s obviously a disappointing end to the season, but I think we-ve moved on pretty quickly.

“We had a quick meeting, and the coaches said ‘things didn-t quite go to plan this game, but we need to look back, and take a look at all the positives to come out of the season.”