Down to their underpants, the lads broke into a manly rendition of a song based on He's Got The Whole World In His Hands as coach Grant Hastings walked into the changing room.
"He's the best coach in this land ... ," the players chorused as they rhythmically bounced up and down like Africa's Maasai tribe.
No one was in a rush yesterday to hit the showers at the Bluewater Stadium clubrooms at Park Island.
Instead, Bluewater Napier City Rovers players, armed with fizzying tinnies, showered their coach with the frothy stuff in what is ritualistically perhaps the ultimate way of saluting Hastings for helping them clinch the 2012 Central League soccer bragging rights in Napier.
It was only the Napier club's third title in the premier winter league - they won the crown in 1981 and in 1986 - when they were not competing in the former, more superior National League.
Yesterday the 4-1 victory over Miramar Rangers in both teams' do-or-die match indisputably belonged to the hosts and their delirious fans who started chanting "Come on the Blues!" when it became obvious the silverware would find pride of place in the club's bulging trophy cabinets.
As players huddled for photographs in front of the main grandstand Hastings slunk away, almost a forgotten man.
The odd person not fixated by the vociferous player celebration shook his hand.
"It's their moment, mate. They've worked really hard. They have been a great squad to work with and they've got what they deserve," Hastings said, not long after receiving a congratulatory hug from his wife Jenni, his most loyal supporter.
"No, it's all about players today, mate, not grumpy old men."
An ashen-faced Miramar Rangers coach Valerio Raccuglia, of Italy, handed the post-match interview with the media to his manager, Ryan Holland.
The visitors' disappointment aside, in many aspects it was a great league with no team able to comfortably say they were going to etch their name on the trophy.
The top four, before yesterday's match, of Wellington Olympic, Wairarapa United, the Rovers and Miramar would have chewed cud over the possibility of several permutations based on what would happen if they drew or others won and lost.
The Bill Robertson-captained Rovers went into yesterday's 18th and final league clash mindful losing wasn't an option but a draw would be palatable to Rangers.
Hastings impressed on his troops before kick off they were going to either finish first or fourth, end of story.
"I was not settling for a draw because while it would have put us on top of the table we would have relied on other results."
He labelled the league "great", adding even the likes of fifth-placed Lower Hutt and Petone, a rung below them, were good, honest sides.
"So to go to the final game - how much more exciting do you want it to be?"
He felt players such as Jarrod Smith and fellow ex-All White Cole Peverley were pivotal in the big matches.
"His [Smith's] composure, attitude, will to work and the class of the guy, I thought, shone through today," he said of the striker who found little love from the woodwork and a referee for the past fortnight coming into yesterday's game.
Rovers finished the season with 13 wins and five losses, leaving Miramar to play a dead rubber against Lower Hutt this weekend.
Hastings said it was special for him to help one of the top soccer clubs in New Zealand win a title.
"When I came here three seasons ago I said I wanted to get Napier City Rovers to where I thought they deserved to be.
"We went close to it last year and then strengthened the squad so it's pretty humbling for me," he said after Rovers lost the Chatham Cup final to Wairarapa about this time last winter but showed this winter they had matured mentally to overcome their archrivals in both the cup and league competitions.
He revealed it was almost like the twilight zone especially when the his men led 2-1 in the 71st minute.
With Miramar goalkeeper Joe Morris carried off on a stretcher after a collision with Smith who headed in centreback Danny Wilson's cross, the fans had lost track of time because of the lengthy stoppage as substitute keeper Sacha Nathu dashed to the changing room to swap his sea blue shirt with a yellow one.
Hastings said Rovers deserved to finish playing, passing the ball around to create opportunities rather than adopt a bunker mentality.
Claiming it was "one hell of a season", Hastings threw his head back and laughed when asked if the Blues were eyeing a double (cup/league) next winter.
"Next year is next year and the ultimate is to have these guys out there doing their best, week after week, so what will be, will be.
"It's not always about playing the best football but about a bit of luck."
With referee Anthony Riley starting the game a couple of minutes early, left wing Luke Chapman stunned Miramar in just the fourth minute when he chip headed the ball over an advancing Morris for a 1-0 lead.
Roving leftback Fergus Neil lacked the sting in his drive in the 19th minute after a Smith cross to the right. Smith also overcooked a header from a Chapman cross on the left flank in the 35th minute.
Just before the halftime whistle, Miramar's Dave Johnston put a cross in from the left flank but goalkeeper Shaun Peta and centreback Wilson had lost the art of communicating, colliding in the 18m box. Fortunately, Miramar striker Wiremu Patrick was slow on the uptake.
In the 51st minute Patrick equalised 1-all after defender Matt Hastings, guilty of shirt pulling, brought him down in the 18m box.
The Miramar striker's pile driver from the penalty spot didn't give Peta a chance, grazing the bottom of the crossbar to hit the roof of the net with a thud.
Two minutes later Wilson denied Patrick again although Peta offered some cover.
In the 62nd minute, keeper Morris parried English import Stephen Hoyle's one-on-one drive but Smith missed a golden opportunity to capitalise as Miramar centreback Chris Conway blunted Smith's kick to earn a bear hug from his gloveman.
After Smith's 71st minute goal, it wasn't until the 93rd minute that Smith increased the lead to 3-1 from a penalty kick when Conway brought him down as he surged into the 18m box .
The centreback collected a yellow card and so did Nathu for mouthing off at the ref.
Two minutes later Smith became the provider, putting Josh Stevenson into the clear at the top of the box.
The substitute left winger, on for Chapman, took the ball around keeper Nathu before crisply pushing it under his diving torso into the bottom right corner for a 4-1 lead.
In fairness to Miramar, the score was inevitable as the visitors pushed themselves into the attacking third of the field and, consequently, became vulnerable to counterattacks as players coughed up possession from unforced errors under pressure to score.