Muscat, Moore defy age barrier

Two of the elder statesmen of the Hyundai A-League in Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat and Queensland Roar captain Craig Moore have capped off remarkable seasons by winning their respective club best and fairest awards on Friday night.

Two of the elder statesmen of the Hyundai A-League in Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat and Queensland Roar captain Craig Moore have capped off remarkable seasons by winning their respective club best and fairest awards on Friday night.

And Adriano Pellegrino celebrated his debut season with Perth Glory by clinching his club's top individual honour too.

Muscat, 35, capped off a year to remember in which he captained the Victory to its second championship success in three seasons by sharing Melbourne's top award with striker Danny Allsopp while 33-year-old Moore, who bravely battled back from a cancer scare this season, claimed his second successive club champion award in Queensland.

Muscat, who has yet to declare his intentions in regards to his playing future next season, also shared the Victory Medal with Allsopp when Melbourne also lifted the championship in 2006/07.

The pair polled 19 votes, two ahead of Archie Thompson with much-improved midfielder Billy Celeski in fourth place with 14 votes.

Muscat enjoyed a fabulous season and was unlucky not to win the Joe Marston Medal for best afield during the 1-0 Grand Final win over Adelaide.

He played every minute of every match in 2008/09, scoring five goals and leading Melbourne Victory to an historic treble as the team become the first to win the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate, pre-season cup and the championship in the one season with Melbourne also guaranteed a spot in next year's AFC Champions League.

Likewise Allsopp also featured in all 24 matches of the season, scoring a personal best 13 goals - one more than he registered in the club's first championship winning season two years ago.

Melbourne Victory Coach Ernie Merrick paid tribute to the pair on Friday night and again urged Muscat to play on next season.

"Last time we won the Premiers Plate and Champions Trophy, Kevin and Danny won the Victory Medal, so it's a credit to both of them to mirror their fantastic season form from two seasons ago," Merrick said.

"People tend to forget that Danny's been our highest goal scorer over the past three home and away seasons and over those years he's matured as a person and a player and topped it off by scoring a personal best 13 goals this season."

Merrick described Muscat as the complete 'all-round package'.

"He's a fantastic player technically, who is hard, uncompromising and provides wonderful leadership on and off the pitch," Merrick said.

"He has helped create and foster the culture of success at Melbourne Victory and the respect for him is enormous and I just hope he-s up for another season."

Moore meanwhile dominated Queensland Roar's award night claiming four awards overall as he somehow managed to miss just one game for the entire season despite his brush with testicular cancer.

The former Glasgow Rangers captain was not only hailed the Roar's club champion yet again but took home the players' award and the fans' award for best player of the season as well as the Foundation Members' Player of the Year as he led the Roar into their second successive Preliminary Final.

Pellegrino, who also won the Glory's Volunteers Player of the Year award, spent more time on the pitch this season than any other Perth player on his way to the best and fairest.

He led the club in assists for the campaign and coach Dave Mitchell hailed the midfielder's efforts for 2008/09.

"I'm very big on attitude and character of players and Adriano came to the club with the clear intention of making good on his opportunity and I'm delighted that he has stamped his authority on the team and the league," Mitchell said.

"I knew his ability, he is technically very good, he gets stuck in and is a great person to have around the club. All the ingredients were there for him to be a top player but at the end of the day he was the one who had to put it all together and this season he did that."