SIMON: Camaraderie key to Club fortunes

He’s scored four goals in his last five appearances for the Mariners and is working his way towards the level of form that made him a household name in the Hyundai A-League, though Matt Simon admits he would swiftly swap personal success in Australia’s top flight in favour of team triumphs.

The former East Gosford Rams attacker played a crucial role in the Club’s 3-3 draw with Brisbane Roar at the weekend – a game in which the Mariners went agonisingly close to breaking their winless run of 11 matches.

Now with clashes against Western Sydney Wanderers (Thursday) and Melbourne City (Sunday) on the horizon, Simon believes the camaraderie in the Central Coast camp can help drive the team to success before the Hyundai A-League pauses during the most part of January’s 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

“Obviously not winning in 11 is very disappointing,” Simon said. “There’s nothing worse than losing, especially when you’re on a streak like that.”

“But it feels like we are close and it doesn’t feel as if we haven’t won in 11. The vibe is good in the change room and we are working hard every day in training.”

“The effort that we showed against Brisbane Roar has shown that we are getting a step closer to where we need to be.”

Simon understands that despite the Wanderers – much like the Mariners – currently struggling to secure maximum points in the Hyundai A-League, the reigning AFC Champions League winners will still prove to be a troublesome team to take on when the two sides meet at Pirtek Stadium on Thursday. 

Indeed, Simon believes both the Mariners and Wanderers are capable of strong showings in the second half of the season as each Club aims to seal yet another Hyundai A-League Finals Series appearance. 

“They’re [Wanderers] obviously struggling at the moment and they haven’t won a game so far, so that makes our task even more difficult,” he said. “It’s always hard to play against a team like that because they have to win at some stage, so we’re going to have to be on our toes and ready for them.” 

“They’ve got that massive crowd, and it’s always hard to play in front of them, so we’re going to have to be switched on with a good game plan and hopefully we can execute it.” 

“I think they are still a great team and they are probably not that far off from getting the wins that they need, and I think as soon as they start winning they can kick on as well.” 

Simon added that he was impressed by the atmosphere created by the fans in the stands at Central Coast Stadium last Saturday, and while he knows there will be a big attendance in Parramatta on Thursday, he hopes local supporters will turn out strongly on Sunday when the Mariners meet Melbourne City on the banks of the Brisbane Water. 

“It was an awesome crowd against Brisbane and there’s nothing better than playing with a big crowd. We’re hoping for a big crowd before the three week break and hopefully we can put in a good performance and get three points for the fans,” Simon concluded. 

Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers - Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 13
Thursday 1 January 2015 
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 7:30pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
Twitter: @CCMariners #WSWvCCM

Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City - Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 14
Sunday 4 January 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
Twitter: @CCMariners #CCMvMCY  (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));