Superb Simon receives Mariners Medal

Central Coast Mariners, Socceroos and Olympic Games striker Matt Simon has capped his phenomenal rise to the top echelon of Australian footballers with the prestigious Mariners Medal, which he claimed at Friday night’s spectacular club awards ceremony at the Mingara Recreation Club.

Central Coast Mariners, Socceroos and Olympic Games striker Matt Simon has capped his phenomenal rise to the top echelon of Australian footballers with the prestigious Mariners Medal, which he claimed at Friday night-s spectacular club awards ceremony at the Mingara Recreation Club.

Simon was the unquestioned star of an evening that was attended by the Mariners playing squad, coaching and administration staff, along with hundreds of corporate partners, club members and supporters.

Aside from emulating the feats of fellow club luminaries and former Mariners Medal winners Michael Beauchamp, Danny Vukovic and Mile Jedinak, Simon was recognised for his club record eleven-goal haul throughout the Hyundai A-League season with the Golden Boot prize, while midfield stalwart and club veteran John Hutchinson-s spectacular long-range effort against the Perth Glory on New Year-s Eve was voted the goal of the season by the Marinators, the Mariners- unofficial vocal supporters group.

The Mariners Medal, the player of the year prize as voted for by the Mariners playing group, is Simon-s latest accolade following a barely fathomable seven-month period for the 23-year-old, who after debuting for the Qantas Under 23-s at a friendly tournament in Malaysia at the conclusion of the third Hyundai A-League season went on to represent his country at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, make two appearances for the Socceroos and net more goals throughout a Hyundai A-League season than any other player in Mariners history.

The Mariners Medal dinner concluded the Mariners- fourth Hyundai A-League campaign - where the club joined an elite group of Hyundai A-League clubs to register three Finals Series appearances from four attempts - and also drew the club-s upcoming AFC Champions League tilt into sharp focus, with the tournament kick off against Korean FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers at Central Coast Stadium now just three days away.

"We thank everyone that attended what was once again a very special night at the Mingara Recreation Club and congratulate Matt Simon for his exceptional season and deserved recognition as our best player of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"Matt came to our club in 2006 as an unknown and unproven talent and after a tough introduction to professional football has quickly become one of Australia-s finest young players and one truly deserving of such an award.

"The Medal Dinner closed the chapter on season four of the Hyundai A-League and the energy and positivity amongst our playing group and, indeed, all that attended on Friday night in regards to the upcoming AFC Champions League was immense.

"We congratulate everyone involved with the club for another fantastic Hyundai A-League season and now urge our members and supporters to join us for our journey into the unknown, where we-ll write a new and unique chapter in our club-s history - one that will be unforgettable I am certain."

Mariners Medal 2008/09 Award Recipients

Mariners Medal - Matt Simon Marinators Goal of the Year - John Hutchinson (Rd. 18 vs. Perth Glory) Golden Boot - Matt Simon Chairman-s Award - Benjamin Coonan

The Mariners will next be in action in a competitive fixture for the kick off of the AFC Champions League 2009 at Central Coast Stadium against Korean FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers on Wednesday, 11 March. Kick off is at 8pm.

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