They made the A-league finals but again underachieved and coach Warren Joyce was moved on. David Davutovic gives his Melbourne City report card:
Finishing position: Elimination finals (lost 1-0 to Adelaide United)
Ladder: 5th (40 points) 11 wins, 7 draws, 9 losses; 39 goals for, 32 goals against)
FFA Cup: Quarter-finals (lost to Western Sydney)
A season in which Melbourne City never reached any great heights, and was in some ways sabotaged by the falling out between coach Warren Joyce and marquee striker Bruno Fornaroli.
A pragmatic, workmanlike style made City hard to beat, but they had to work for their goals.
The 5-0 final round mauling of Central Coast was immense, as it was done with a youthful side which included 15-year-old debutant Idrus Abdulahi and a scorcher from Ramy Najjarine. It also paved the way for City to jump to fifth, although it mattered little in the end.
Round 5, when Fornaroli was dropped in the 2-0 loss away to Brisbane Roar and City players and officials struggled to explain the situation. In the end, fans were left guessing as to why their favourite player was banished a week after scoring a stunning goal against Wellington — his only one of the season — as the saga dragged on for three months.
Scott Galloway (Adelaide United), Vedran Janjetovic (Western Sydney)
Luke Brattan, Bart Schenkeveld, Mark Birighitti, Riley McGree, Dario Vidosic, Nathaniel Atkinson
Eugene Galekovic (retired), Shay Harrison (Spurs loan ends), Dylan Pierias, Josh Cavallo, James Delianov (Western United)
What went right
The defensive structure was sound, with Schenkeveld, Ritchie de Laet, Galekovic and Scott Jamieson leading the way, while Curtis Good and Harrison Delbridge also contributed. The January transfer window was fruitful and the signing of Jamie Maclaren should pay dividends next season and beyond.
What they need to improve
The coaching appointment is crucial. The coach and playing philosophy will determine the type of players City target, with another round of mass turnover set to ensue. But there is a strong foundation of quality senior and youth products, and there is no doubt City has underperformed when looking at the quality of its squad.
Players of the year
1 Eugene Galekovic
A stellar swan song from the veteran, who was steady and even proved a matchwinner on occasions.
2 Ritchie de Laet
The versatile Belgian scored goals and performed superbly wherever he was asked to play.
3 Bart Schenkeveld
The stopper’s athleticism saw him outmuscle opponents for a second straight season.
4 Luke Brattan
Impressed playing higher up the park in the no. 10 role, with goals added to his passing repertoire.
5 Scott Jamieson
The skipper was surprisingly dropped for the elimination final, but his regular season was strong.