So the ‘nearly-men' did it again - narrowly missing out on the S-League title they've been craving for. To their credit, the Protectors have managed a top-four finish every season since the last time they laid hands on the trophy back in 2003.
And despite having to wait another year to end their S-League title drought, they can be proud of their achievements last season.
Given their chaotic start, Lee Lim-Saeng's men deserve all the plaudits for clawing their way back from the dead to conjure a meaningful title challenge as they finished a respectable third - just five points behind Etoile FC, who became the first ever foreign team to win the S-league.
And there were plenty of highlights. Most notably their 5-2 thumping of SAFFC in July last year and an impressive 3-0 win over fellow title contenders Tampines Rovers.
It all came a little too late and one can only ponder what might have been if they have gotten off to a better start. But with the growing confidence and attractive football they displayed at the end of the season, the Protectors have every reason to be positive in 2011.
The much-anticipated 2011 season will see Home United as the team to watch and they've made sure of that with the capture of last season's Golden Boot winner Frederic Mendy from champions Etoile and the re-signing of Qiu Li from runners-up Tampines Rovers.
If capturing their two title rivals' respective marksmen is not a resounding signal of their title ambitions, I don't know what is.
Not forgetting their current crop of players, who themselves are capable of challenging for the title as shown last season. Players like Shi Jia Yi, and Lionel Lewis form the nucleus of the team, with the new signings making the Protectors truly a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season.
There is one setback for Home United though - the departure of their skipper Shahril Ishak. Much to the dismay of the fans, the midfielder left the club to ply his trade in the Indonesian Super League with Persib Bandung FC after playing his last game in the 3-0 win over Tampines Rovers last September.
So there we go. A season of high expectations and hopes for the Protectors. But can they claim their first S-League title since 2003? Or will we still be calling them the ‘nearly-men' come next season?
Golden Boot winner last season with a staggering 21 goals for Etoile, the young Senegalese-French striker is undoubtedly the biggest pre-season transfer.
Home United's lack of a top marksman was the downfall of their title race last season, with former midfielder and skipper Shahril Ishak their top-scorer with 17 goals last season.
With the capture of Mendy, the Protectors will not only be promised goals aplenty this season, but perhaps their first title in eight years.
Another huge signing for Home United, which sees the South Korean midfielder reunite with coach Lee Lim-Saeng.
The 36-year-old joins from Suwon Samsung Bluewings, where Lim-Saeng worked as a coach before joining the Protectors.
Dae-Eui comes with a big reputation and a bag of experience, having played for Suwon Samsung Bluewings for the past seven years, participating in the AFC Champions League.
Most notably, the pacy Korean won the MVP award for the 2002 K-League season when he played for Seongnam IIlhwa Chunma. Adding to his club honours, he has 13 caps for South Korea under his belt.
If it is considered a sign, Dae-Eui helped Suwon Samsung Bluewings end their five-year wait for the K-League title in 2004, which was also the same year he joined the club.
Can he help Home United end their eight-year wait? I wouldn't bet against it.
Shi Jia Yi
The naturalized Singaporean midfielder has been an integral part of the Protectors since joining from Young Lions in 2007.
The hardworking and positive vibe the 27-year-old brings to the squad is invaluable as evident last season, where he was the club's second top-scorer with an impressive 11 goals from midfield.
He has yet to taste success in the S-League and this season could well be the best chance of doing so.
A roller coaster first season in the S-League for the South Korean. But Kudos to him for turning Home United's season around after a turbulent first few months.
The 39-year-old led the club to the longest unbeaten streak of the season that saw the Protectors literally claw its way back from the dead and produce a meaningful title challenge.
But despite the failed attempt in bringing home the club's first title in eight years, Lim-Saeng has impressed enough in his debut season.
And with a number of big signings such as his former player Kim Dae-Eui from Suwon Samsung Bluewings, 2011 could be the year of history making for both the rookie manager and Home United.
It's home sweet home for Home United. The Protectors moved to the their temporary based at Clementi Stadium during the start of 2009 due to renovations to Bishan Stadium, which was one of the venues for the inaugural Youth Olympics Games last year.
Now that the Protectors are back at their old stomping ground with new and upgraded facilities, how sweet it would be to mark their home-coming by winning their first S-League title since 2003.