Heffernan and Simon make debuts Jakarta

The Central Coast Mariners have welcomed a further two Socceroos into their ranks, following Dean Heffernan and Matt Simon’s appearance in last night’s 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia in Jakarta.

The Central Coast Mariners have welcomed a further two Socceroos into their ranks, following Dean Heffernan and Matt Simon-s appearance in last night-s 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia in Jakarta.

Heffernan started Australia-s campaign opening 0-0 stalemate with the Indonesians before being withdrawn at the 74 minute mark for Queensland Roar flyer Michael Zullo, while Simon was introduced off the bench for fellow striker Daniel Allsopp twelve minutes into the second half.

Each made sound contributions to what was an impressive performance from the Socceroos, who did well to negotiate a tricky challenge from a determined opponent that was performing in front of a massive home audience of over 50,000 people.

Heffernan was utilised by Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek in a different role to what Mariners Members and supporters have become accustomed to - manning a place on the left hand side of a four-man midfield.

The Mariners- inaugural season standout provided a string of searching crosses and even managed the occasional shot on goal, while season four lynchpin Simon looked Australia-s most likely to score upon taking to the pitch.

Dylan Macallister and Danny Vukovic, the Mariners- other representatives in Indonesia, were two of four unused substitutes on the Socceroos bench.

The number of current Mariners with Socceroos experience now numbers five, with Heffernan and Simon joined by Ahmad Elrich, Nik Mrdja and Sasho Petrovski, while as many as fourteen players throughout Mariners history have now worn green and gold at a senior level.

"On behalf of everyone at the Mariners and our Members and supporters, I extend a congratulations to Dean and to Matt for their achievements on the world stage and for fulfilling what I-m sure has been a lifelong dream for each of them," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"We must also congratulate Pim Verbeek and his squad for what is a positive result in trying circumstances in Jakarta, one that I-m sure will prove valuable to the team as they continue their 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign.

"I-m sure that Dylan and Danny will have their opportunities in the not too distant future also, along with many more of our players, such is the nature of Australia-s international calendar nowadays.

"As always, the Mariners are totally supportive of the Socceroos and hope to see our players involved with the national team again in the near future."

The Mariners- third Finals Series campaign will begin with a blockbuster clash against the Queensland Roar in the Minor Semi Final - 1st Leg at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday, 6 February. Kick off is at 8pm.

Tickets for this match are available from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.