After once fearing injury would hurt his A-League Men season and scupper his World Cup hopes, Craig Goodwin has relished capping off his golden run of form with the Johnny Warren Medal.
On Thursday night, Goodwin and Matildas dynamo Alex Chidiac claimed top honours at the A-Leagues' Dolan Warren Awards.
Adelaide United skipper Goodwin had a hand in everything good the Reds achieved in their third-placed season, scoring 15 goals and notching 11 assists to claim the Johnny Warren Medal.
It capped off a year in which he scored against France and played a key role in the Socceroos' run to the World Cup round of 16 in Qatar.
But at one point, battling with osteitis pubis and without a pre-season, the 31-year-old thought his World Cup dream may be unrealised.
"I want to make special note to the Adelaide medical staff in being able to get me from the back end of last season where I had OP (osteitis pubis) and was lucky enough to get me ready for the season," Goodwin told reporters.
"I only had a one-week pre-season and literally put the boots on one week out from the Wellington game, which was the first game of the year.
"So along that path, it was very much an equation where I thought I might not get to the World Cup, but I'm very thankful to them that I was able to get there."
Goodwin also delighted in the faith he'd received from Socceroos boss Graham Arnold and the Socceroos' medical staff in the lead up to squad selection for Qatar.
The 31-year-old believed he still had good football in him and was motivated by three consecutive semi-final exits with Adelaide.
"Although it's a massive honour for me to win this award, the championship with Adelaide is the the main goal," he said.
"I've had one taste of it back in 2016 and we've been that close the last four or five years."
Chidiac won the Julie Dolan Medal despite only playing 13 of Melbourne Victory's 20 regular-season games, on loan from NWSL club Racing Louisville, scoring six goals.
Chidiac, 24, has largely been used off the bench by the Matildas as an impact substitute but is expected to be named in a Women's World Cup squad for the first time for July's tournament on home soil.
Melbourne City breakout sensation Jordan Bos was named ALM young player of the season ahead of playing in Saturday's grand final against Central Coast.
Sydney FC midfielder Sarah Hunter, 19, earned the ALW honour after a standout campaign for the premiers.
2022-23 DOLAN WARREN AWARDS ROLL OF HONOUR:
- Johnny Warren Medal: Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)
- Julie Dolan Medal: Alex Chidiac (Melbourne Victory)
- Men's young footballer of the year: Jordan Bos (Melbourne City)
- Women's young footballer of the year: Sarah Hunter (Sydney FC)
- Men's coach of the year: Carl Veart (Adelaide)
- Women's coach of the year: Mark Torcaso (Western United)
- Men's golden glove: Lawrence Thomas (Western Sydney Wanderers)
- Women's golden glove: Hillary Beall (WU)
- Men's Golden Boot: Jamie Maclaren (City)
- Women's Golden Boot: Hannah Keane (WU)
- Men's goal of the year: Giordano Colli (Perth Glory)
- Women's goal of the year: Madison Haley (Sydney)
- Men's save of the year: Andrew Redmayne (Sydney)
- Women's save of the year: Hilary Beall (WU)
- Men's referee of the year: Chris Beath
- Women's referee of the year: Casey Reibelt
- Men's fair play award: Brisbane Roar
- Women's fair play award: Canberra United
- Men's fan player of the year: Oskar Zawada (Wellington Phoenix)
- Women's fan player of the year: Maria Jose Rojas (City)