Simon signs on for two more

He grew up on the Central Coast, embodies everything the club symbolises, and now, Qantas Socceroo Matt Simon has committed himself to the Mariners for a further two seasons.

He grew up on the Central Coast, embodies everything the club symbolises, and now, Qantas Socceroo Matt Simon has committed himself to the Mariners for a further two seasons.

Simon-s re-signing is a significant boost to the club, as it aims to continue to cement its place among the country-s elite clubs.

"We couldn-t be happier to have Matt on board for the next three seasons," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"It-s the perfect fairytale, a plasterer playing in the local Premier League one day, to representing his country the next. He-s played a huge role in helping the club achieve what it has so far, and we look forward to Matt having another successful three Hyundai A-League seasons with us."

Simon-s rise has indeed been the stuff of dreams, plucked out of the local league by Lawrie McKinna in the second season of the Hyundai A-League, the now 23 year old went on to be the club-s leading goal-scorer throughout the premiership winning 2007/08 season, earning himself two full international caps for the Qantas Socceroos in the process, against Indonesia and Kuwait.

He again spearheaded the club-s successful charge to the 2008/09 finals series, and has been rewarded with a new deal, which will keep him at Bluetongue Stadium until the end of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season.

"I had my eye on Matty for quite a while when he was playing for East Gosford, and his skill level, fitness and workrate has improved out of sight since he became part of our setup.

"He has proven himself to be among the top strikers playing in the A-League, and now he has got negotiations out of the way, he can concentrate on doing what he does best, and that-s scoring goals.

"Obviously I want to keep the nucleus of this squad together, we have huge potential, and Matt is certainly a big part of our future," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

Despite heavy interest from several other clubs, Simon says he-s delighted to be able to remain at his hometown club.

"Negotiations have been going on for a while now so its good to get it out of the way and just concentrate on playing some good football now.

"Securing my future for a couple more years now, and I-m very happy at the club, so I-m now just looking forward to knuckling down and scoring some more goals.

"It-s happened so fast. I-m very happy with my progress and I still believe I-ve got a lot more to learn, so hopefully I can do that over the next couple of years and progress even further.

"There was a little bit of interest around, but it-s a great bunch of boys here at the club and I-ve just bought a house on the Coast so there was a bit of thinking to do, but I think it-s the right decision in the end.

"Negotiations were going on for quite some time and it-s always in the back of your head, o its good to get it out of the way now and I know my future is secure.

"I-ll just concentrate on playing good football and he (Australian coach Pim Verbeek) has shown in the past that if you are doing well he is willing to look at the Australian based boys. I-ll just concentrate on doing well for the Mariners and we-ll see what happens in the future," Simon said.

Simon will line up alongside his Mariners teammates against North Queensland Fury this Sunday, 10 October. Kick-off is at 3:00pm, and is part of a double header, which sees the Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League team take on Adelaide United at 12:15pm, gates open at 12:00pm.

Tickets for this match 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.