WHAT do some of the key people at the Mariners think of Matt Simon?
CENTRAL Coast Mariners challenge Melbourne Victory on Wednesday evening at Bluetongue Stadium, and while an intriguing battle between the two sides awaits on the pitch, the sub-plot to the evening undoubtedly exists in Matt Simon's farewell from the Club post match.
CCMariners.com.au took time to quiz a number of the key people involved with the Mariners about Simon's contribution to the Club since he made the transition from plasterer to professional footballer some six seasons ago.
Graham Arnold - Head Coach “Matt's a perfect example of a kid who had a dream and who knows he-s not as gifted in ability as other players, but with a lot of hard work and determination he-s living his dream. He-s getting the overseas contract that he-s worked so hard for, and it-s shown a lot of youngsters here at the club that if you work as hard as Matty does at training and in a game that the boundaries are unlimited.”
Peter Turnbull - Chairman "The first time I saw Matty on the field in a Mariners shirt, was sitting with my late brother at a trial match against Blacktown City on a bitterly cold night. Matt was not as "cultured" as the rest of what was actually one of our best teams, but what was apparent was his sheer joy of being on that field in our shirt. That attitude has stayed his entire career with us to this day, as he worked as hard as he could to eventually become one of our very best players. Matt is an inspiration to the team, the club and to all junior players in our region. I wish him well in this life-changing opportunity, and can't wait to see him back in the shirt he so loves"
Alex Wilkinson - Mariners Captain “After the game is the time for emotion. Obviously we-d like to send Matty off for a win. He-s a great guy and we-re all so happy for him that he-s got this opportunity. We all hope he does really well over there and one day comes back and plays with the Mariners. Congratulations to him and it-d be great to send him off with a win. “
John Hutchinson - Fellow Member of the Mariners' 100 Club “I love Matty myself, all the boys love him. Matty Simon-s been a great clubman, he-s fantastic with the boys, everyone loves him, he-s a fan favourite. Hopefully we can send him of as a winner because that-s what he deserves. “
Phil Moss - Assistant Coach “The thing about Simmo is that he is such a selfless player for the team's cause. Even when he is having an off day with the ball he makes it so hard for opposition teams to play out from the back with his energy in defence. The best complement for Simmo is how many opponents say he is the hardest player to play against. Defenders hate playing him because they know they will be in a 95minute battle. He is a fantastic player, an inspirational clubman & an even better bloke! He is living proof that success doesn't have to go to your head & that if you work hard at your game it can take you anywhere.”
Rik Katte - Team Manager “A great bloke and considering he didn't score any goals in his first season, he has done amazingly well to become the club's leading goal scorer!”
Match Details Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory Wednesday 4 January 2012 Kick-off: 7:45pm Tickets: CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory. Twitter: Join the conversation about Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory on Twitter twitter.com/CCMariners. The official match hashtag for Wednesday-s clash is #HALccmmv