Simon signs on for season 9

MUCH-LOVED marksman Matt Simon, 27, will re-join Central Coast Mariners for season nine of the Hyundai A-League after today signing a one-season deal with the Club.

MUCH-LOVED marksman Matt Simon, 27, will re-join Central Coast Mariners for season nine of the Hyundai A-League after today signing a one-season deal with the Club.

No stranger to Central Coast supporters, Simon left the Mariners in January 2012 for K-League Classic side Chunnam Dragons. However, an unfortunate string of injuries throughout his time in Korea Republic ended in him agreeing a mutual release from the ‘Dragons- earlier this year.

Eager to return to his brilliant, match-winning best, Simon has opted to return to the familiar surrounds of the Central Coast under the guidance of Graham Arnold and his astute staff.

Indeed, the 2008 Beijing Olympian believes his first professional Club can help nurture him back to the level of form which led to him being courted by, and eventually transferred to, the Gwangyang-based outfit last year.

“I am really excited to come back to the Club,” Simon said. “I had a tough time in Korea with injury. But it-s a great time to come back and I am happy to be joining the Champions.”

Simon said knowing he would again be working with top professionals who understand how his body ticks was a key factor in his decision to sign on with Central Coast.

“I couldn-t quite get my body right in Korea,” he explained. ‘Nealo- (Mariners Physiotherapist Andrew Nealon), ‘Clarky- (Mariners Head of Sports Science Andrew Clark) and ‘Arnie- (Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold) are the best in the business, and 100 per cent working with them again was a big part of my decision of coming home.”

“I have been back on the park and have been using the Centre of Excellence with Clarky and Nealo over the last three weeks. Slowly, step-by-step I am making progress. It-s a long off-season so there-s plenty of time for me to work on what I need to before the start of next season.”

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold believes the Mariners have secured a major playing coup by having Simon re-join the Club.

“It is great to have Matty back,” Arnold said. “He-s a local player, a fan favourite, was born and developed on the Coast, and it-s great the supporters will get the chance to see him in our colours again.”

“At the peak of his powers, Matt is one of the A-League-s best players. We also like recruiting people who we believe will fit seamlessly into the culture we have built at the Club, and we know Matt not only fits but enhances our camaraderie and culture.”

Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Mr Peter Turnbull, said: “We-re delighted to have Matt Simon back with the Club. He-s the type of player every footballers loves to play with, but hates to play against.”

“We know our fan base will share our excitement in having Matt back with us. As he is a local boy, we hope his signing will further enhance the grassroots work we will be doing over the off-season in the Central Coast community.”

After a steady start to life as a Hyundai A-League professional, the former East Gosford attacker truly began to make his name in Australia-s top flight in the 2008/09 campaign when he scored 11 goals in just 21 appearances.

Despite playing just 14 matches for the Mariners in season 2011/12, Simon shared the Club-s Golden Boot Award alongside Bernie Ibini and Patrick Zwaanswijk having scored seven goals in an impressive first half of the season.

Witness Matt Simon linking with Daniel McBreen, Michael McGlinchey and Mitchell Duke in the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium! The only way to guarantee your seat at each match is via a Mariners Membership! Get on board today! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW!