As my favoured tipple of choice reminds us all, good things come to those who wait, and it's fair to say Dundee fans have waited long enough for a European jolly. Our last sojourn onto the continent was 21 years ago following an agonising defeat in the Scottish Cup final to Rangers, but you have to go back to 1973 to happen upon the last time we hit the continent as a reward for our league position. It has been, to put it mildly, a bit of a fallow period.

Celtic eventually seeing off Aberdeen at Hampden last weekend has ensured that overhauling St Mirren in the league is all that stands between us and some hastily booked budget airline flights this summer. It would be a rich reward for what has been a remarkable first season back in the top tier for Dundee. Unfortunately, as this is my last regular column, I won't be there to either bask in the reflected glory of European qualification or track the slow disintegration of our hopes, but in this brief moment of satisfaction with the lot of my team, now is as good a time as any to hand out some end(ish) of season awards:

Player of the Year 

It can only be the Greenock Gavi himself, Luke McCowan. McCowan has flourished in the Premiership to the extent that his omission from the PFA's Team of the Year was a genuine surprise. McCowan adapted very quickly to the pace of the top tier, but his form and importance both hit warp speed when Tony Docherty shifted him from playing on the wing to part of a dynamic three-man midfield alongside Mo Sylla and Lyall Cameron. Cool as you like from the penalty spot with wicked set-piece deliveries, including a goal straight from a corner kick against Motherwell, he will unfortunately but deservedly be linked with moves to teams further up the food chain this summer. Convincing Luke to sign an extension on his current deal will be a real coup.

Young Player of the Year

Lyall Cameron. It took a little time to work out how best to use him in this side, but he is now firmly up and running, with his audacious 40-yard strike against St Johnstone a season highlight. Like McCowan, he's one of a few players in this side that must have the club bracing themselves for bids. His development would benefit from another couple of seasons at Dens (he says, optimistically), but he'll go far in the game, and it surely won't be long before he moves up from the U21 Scotland side to the senior team.

Signing of the year 

For me, it's the man christened the Derry Vieira, Mo Sylla, who beats loanee Owen Beck in a photo finish. Beck's injury woes since his return in January count against him for this award, sadly. Once Sylla muscled his way into the starting line-up at the expense of Malachi Boateng, he has been hard to dislodge, such has been his diligent screening of defence and ability to seem to be in three places all at once. His performances are not flashy or obvious from highlight reels, but they have been pivotal in ensuring that others further up the pitch can do their thing without having to worry unduly about matters at the back.

Most improved player of the year 

Given the size of the squad overhaul, it's tempting to bend the rules and hand this prize to either Scott Tiffoney or Owen Dodgson, both of whom have overcome stuttering starts to their time at Dens to develop into reliable first team picks. However, it would be a disservice not to acknowledge the leaps and bounds made by Jordan McGhee this season, so he's my pick. The former Hearts starlet has nailed down the RB/RWB slot, seeing off Cammy Kerr and Josh Mulligan in the process, and has been as solid and dependable as you like in defence, as well as contributing some crucial goals at the other end of the pitch. If Steve Clarke was looking for the next Stephen O'Donnell, he could do worse than picking up the phone to Jordan...

Goal of the season 

It's that man Luke McCowan again, with his imperious power-lob (is that such a thing?) over Zander Clark's head to secure our first league win of the season against Hearts. It was an out-your-seat moment of elation, fuelled in part by the relief that we might (and did) secure a win to get the ball rolling and move away from the foot of the table.

Best win of the season 

Dundee 5-0 St Mirren. Yes, the Buddies had injuries and bugs sweeping the camp, but you can't sniff at a good old-fashioned dismantling of a side - and it may yet be a pivotal three points.

Worst defeat of the season 

I can laugh about it now - almost - but it has to be our sensational collapse at home to Motherwell. Thankfully it didn't cost us our top-six spot, but it was emblematic of our tendency to concede crucial late goals this season and genuinely left me traumatised for days afterwards. Never again.

And with those trophies doled out, it is time to bid farewell - at least until my travelogue from the Conference League qualifiers is commissioned. Enjoy what's left of this season and I'll see you all at the airport.