Mariners forward Matt Simon is looking forward to his 200th A-League game in Yellow & Navy on Wednesday, but says he hasn’t really had the chance to think about the milestone just yet.
The Mariners are facing their third two-day turnaround of the season ahead of a clash with Melbourne City, with their opponents also on a similar timeframe having played after the Mariners on Sunday night.
Speaking on Tuesday ahead of the game, the club’s all-time leading goal scorer spoke about the moment itself and what he has seen change in the A-League since his arrival on the scene in 2007.
“Yeah it feels good, [but I] haven’t had much time to think about it,” he said.
“It’s come up pretty quick this year with all the short turnarounds but looking ahead I’m really looking forward to playing the 200th in front of family and friends.”
“I think that not just across the A-league but at our club the professionalism, it’s gotten better and better each year.”
“The facilities that we have now that the players are fortunate enough to train on is a big improvement and I still remember back in the early days we used to get a message in the morning about where training was going to be.”
“So, to have our own setup is a real credit to the club and a good place for the young boys coming through to improve their skills.”
Since making his debut against the Jets on Friday, January 5th in 2007, Simon has become a Mariners stalwart and was part of the Premiership winning team in that 2007/08 A-League season.
Now in his 14th A-League season, Wednesday will be his 267th overall appearance in the A-League and his 106th game at Central Coast Stadium.
The former East Gosford Ram was one of a number of local players in the early days of the club and said he hopes that his career has shown the way for Coast youngsters to play for their hometown club.
“Obviously been a local junior you like to see as many locals get the chance to play for the club and when I first joined the club there were 7 or 8 local players,” he said.
“In the future it would be great to see even more local players coming through and with the academy that is setup at the moment and the work that Nick Montgomery is doing I’m sure in a few years to come there will be a lot of local boys and girls playing for the senior sides.”
Make sure you arrive early tomorrow night to see Simmo presented with a commemorative item to mark his 200th A-League appearance for the Mariners.