Simon says Mariners are targeting opening day success

Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon insists the club is expecting nothing less than all three points from it’s opening round date with reigning champions Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium tomorrow, Thursday 6 August.

Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon insists the club is expecting nothing less than all three points from it-s opening round date with reigning champions Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium tomorrow, Thursday 6 August.

Despite being written off by many sections of the media in the build up to the new Hyundai A-League season, Simon says there is a strong belief amongst the playing squad that 2009/10 can be a huge success.

"It-s going to be massive down there. A Thursday night, there-s going to be a big crowd - there always is - and we-re opening the new season. The boys are looking forward to it, and hopefully we can turn up on the night and put on a good performance," said Simon.

"This is why we play. We want to go down there and (play in front of what-s going to be) a great atmosphere. Hopefully the pitch is up to scratch, and we can get a point or all three."

After tearing the lateral ligament in his right knee in the Mariners 3-2 loss to Pohang in the Asian Champions League, Simon has worked hard to ready himself for tomorrow-s season opener, which will come three months and two days since the original injury.

"I-m back from injury now which I-m pretty happy about, and I-m just trying to get the kilometres back in the legs now. It-s (the knee) not too used to training, so I just need to get all the muscles around the injury used to training again.

"I-m feeling a lot better than what I was seven or eight weeks ago, so I-m pretty happy. The knee is 100% now, so as I said I-m just getting everything else used to it and I-m happy with how things are going," said Simon.

The Mariners go into the game set to field up to three debutantes, with new signings Chris Doig, Nicky Travis and Michael McGlinchey all included in the traveling party, while Simon will fight it out with Adam Kwasnik and Dylan Macallister for starting places up front.

"It-s healthy for any club to have all its strikers fit and ready to go. It-s good for the gaffer and it-s good for us to try to win the spots at training.

"Everyone is on their toes and working hard, and I-m sure the gaffer will put in who he thinks will do the job," Simon said.

The Mariners Hyundai A-League 2009/10 campaign kicks off this Thursday, 6 August when they take on Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium. Kick-off is at 8pm.

The Mariners first home match of the Hyundai A-League season is against local rival Newcastle Jets on Friday, August 14. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.