Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss says he is considering deploying striker Matt Simon from kick-off when the yellow and navy meet Newcastle Jets in enemy territory this Sunday.
Simon has played just 15 competitive minutes for the first team this term – a quarter of an hour cameo in the Club’s Westfield FFA Cup Semi-Final against Adelaide United that yielded the former Chunnam Dragons marksman a goal and an injury.
But having worked his way back to full fitness over the past fortnight, Moss says Simon may well be thrown into the second #F3Derby of the season from the start as the Mariners look to secure their second win of the campaign against their northern foes.
“‘Simmo’ [Matt Simon] is ready to go,” Moss said following training on Friday. “There is a good chance that he will be involved, and I’m even contemplating playing him from the start because he just brings such a physical bite to our game.”
“He really puts defences on alert, and he is desperate to get in the box and score goals. That’s what we need at the moment.”
“Simmo’s introduction back into training has lifted the group – he’s a great club man, a great guy, and a fantastic player.”
While Simon’s potential selection to the Mariners’ frontline ought to provide more potency to an attack that has netted only four times in seven Hyundai A-League outings so far this term, the former East Gosford Rams gun is not the only attacking player boss Moss is considering utilising against Phil Stubbins’ side.
Indeed, the Club’s Foxtel National Youth League captain, Josh Bingham, trained with the first team on Friday, and he too is being considered for the important contest at Hunter Stadium.
“‘Bingers’ [Josh Bingham] has been doing well in the youth team,” Moss explained. “He is a player that I’ve got my eye on and he has been ticking all the boxes in the [Foxtel] NYL competition.”
“He is captain of the youth team, he leads by example, he is full of energy, and he actually reminds me of a younger version of Matt Simon in a lot of ways.”
“He trained well today and is certainly in the mix for Sunday.”
Moss added that motivation levels within his camp are high heading into the #F3Derby.
“I think the Derby comes at a good time because there is huge levels of motivation to get our next win on the board, to try and get ourselves back into the top six and consolidate a top six spot,” Moss said.
“We’ve got to win the individual battles that gives the team the momentum to get on top, and that’s been a real focus this week.”
“A Derby always has extra spice and we need to go up there and be prepared to go to war.”
“I’ve got no doubt we have the quality to come away with the points,” he concluded.
Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 8 (#F3Derby)
Sunday 30 November 2014
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Tickets: Please click here.