The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Matt Simon has been named Club Captain ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.
As the Central Coast Mariners’ all-time leading goal scorer, Simon becomes the club’s sixth full time captain joining the likes of: Noel Spencer, Alex Wilkinson, John Hutchinson, Nick Montgomery and Alan Baro.
The East Gosford junior has bagged 46 goals in the Hyundai A-League for the Yellow & Navy after signing his first professional contract in 2006 from Central Coast Lightning.
At the completion of the 2008/09 season which saw the Mariners finish in fourth position on the ladder, Simon was voted by his peers as the best player, claiming the 2009 #MarinersMedal.
After three seasons with Sydney FC where Simon was crowned a Hyundai A-League Champion, the 32-year-old marksman joined Mike Mulvey’s Mariners, signing a two-year-contract.
Simon touted the appointment as Club Captain of his hometown team, a proud moment.
“This is a really proud moment for myself coming back to the club where it all began,” Simon said. “To be able to captain the team this year in such a promising time is very exciting and we’re all looking forward to what’s ahead this season.
“I was lucky enough to play with Noel Spencer, Alex Wilkinson, John Hutchinson and Nick Montgomery – those four guys have all had a big part to play in the club’s culture. The biggest thing I’ve learnt from them is to ensure the culture in the change room is maintained because that was a big part of why the club was so successful in the early years of the competition. At Sydney FC, Brosquey [Alex Brosque] was an incredible captain who led with his performances week in week out.
“I’ll be taking a little bit from each of those captains, but also doing my own thing – it’s an honour to be a captain of this team but this season there are a lot of leaders in the squad.
“I want to lead with my actions. I’ve always been the type of player to talk on the field, the biggest thing for me is not to change the way I play, it’s always important to ensure you lead with your individual performances,” Simon said.
Usain Bolt bagged himself a brace in an unforgettable night in his football journey as the Central Coast Mariners beat Macarthur South West United 4-0. Bolt's brace was complimented by strikes to Ross McCormack & Jordan Murray.
Central Coast Mariners 4 (McCormack 8’, Murray 42’, Bolt 55’, 69’) Macarthur South West United 0
The run down
It was a promising first ten minutes for the Mariners who threatened Macarthur’s goal on several attempts. The Mariners used this momentum to their advantage through Tommy Oar who sprinted down the left wing and delivered a wonderful cross that met McCormack's diving header. The two new boys combined for our first goal of the night.
The Mariners continued their dominance in possession but struggled to break through a strong South West United defence. South West United slowly came into the game creating a couple of chances that threatened the Mariners goal but the pairing of Kye Rowles and Jake McGing kept the Macarthur side scoreless.
The first half continued with several chances falling to either side but both defences held firm. Usain Bolt had his best chance of his Mariners career so far with a header going JUST wide of the goal. The Yellow and Navy managed to add a second to their tally with Jordan Murray converting a Jack Clisby corner right before halftime where the Mariners went into the sheds two goals to none.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the first with both sides applying pressure in the front third. Usain managed to continue getting chances but couldn’t convert a low, drilled cross from McCormack which evaded everyone in the box.
The Mariners continued through the half, determined to add more to the scoreboard and they finally did with Usain Bolt putting a low, hard effort past Eze Consoni scoring his first professional goal in the yellow and navy stripes which saw Campbelltown Stadium erupt.
The Mariners continued to control the game in the second half. This dominance led to Bolt doubling his tally for the night and adding a fourth following a mistake from the Macarthur keeper.
Throughout the half, youth players Michael Glassock, Charles M'Mombwa, Jordan Smylie and Matthew Hatch earned valuable game time as the Yellow and Navy continued their second half dominance. Macarthur forced Adam Pearce into making a great save that denied the striker a certain goal.
The second half finished with both sides battling for possession but tonight will be remembered for all the right reasons as Usain Bolt’s brace helped the Mariners to a 4-0 win over the Macarthur South West United side.
"I’ve been working, trying to get fit to the level that I can play for 45 minutes," Bolt said. "To me, I played well and happy with the progress I’m making. I was telling myself if I got the guy off my shoulders, set up myself and hit the target, that was the key thing.
"The coach told me you will get chances, don’t get frustrated if you miss it’s a part of the game, you got to continue pushing till you get those chances. I need more games to get better and to know where to be. The coach will play me in different places, because of my speed, other strikers.
"We will sit down with the club, discuss and see if we want to move forward and what I need to do and how to do that. For me I’m taking this a step at a time and I want to push myself to see how far I can go. We have to sit down after this game, the season will come up, figure out what were got to do but until that I’m here to train.
"I don’t have a lot of experience on the field, you got to be ready for anything to come and it will come with experience. With more time we will get better (McCormack) you play with the players the more you know what they want. Four months is the time frame that I should understand the players, how they play, what they want from me, what I need to do, where I need to be and how I should push myself.
"All I can do is do what I wanted to do, prove myself. They’ve seen what I’m capable of, how I am training, they need to analyses and determine if I’m good enough for the club. Overall, I should work on everything, my positioning is much better, I’m running in space much better. Controlling the ball and vision is my poorest areas even though they’ve improved a lot while I’ve been here they could improve a lot more. I know what I need to do to get better, it’s all about if I get time, play with the guys at training. You can train all you want but it’s all about playing time, it’s a lot like track and field.
"It was brilliant. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders. That first goal to relax you because I missed an earlier chance. It was a great feeling I was happy about it," Bolt said.
8’ McCORMACK (1-0): Tommy Oar sprinted down the left wing and put in a wonderful delivery that was fired home by a Ross McCormack diving header.
42’ MURRAY (2-0): A sensational delivery from a Jack Clisby corner is met by the head of Jordan Murray that evaded two defenders on the line and found its way in.
55’ BOLT (3-0): Bolt managed to wriggle his way past the Macarthur defender and powerfully placed the ball in the back of the net. A classy finish.
69’ BOLT (4-0): A miscommunication between defender and goalkeeper meant that Usain Bolt could tap the ball in the back of the net bagging a brace.
Central Coast Mariners: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK), 3. Jack CLISBY (Matthew HATCH 72’), 4. Jake McGING, 15. Kye ROWLES, 18. Matt MILLAR, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 26. Joshua NISBET, 10. Tommy OAR (31. Jordan SMYLIE 79’), 25. Jordan MURRAY, 44. Ross MCCORMACK (27. Charles M’MOMBWA 70’), 95. Usain BOLT (Trialist) (28. Michael GLASSOCK 75’)
Substitutes not used: 24. Joe GAUCI (GK)
Macarthur South West United: 1. Ezequiel CONSONI (GK) (20. Joshua GLASSON 80’), 2. Cristian GONZALEZ (8. Dylan STIVALA 74’), 3. Tom WHITESIDE, 9. Patrick ANTELMI, 10. Yianni PERKATIS (16. Mark SYMINGTON 74’), 12. Josh SYMONS, 13. Nathan MILLGATE, 14. Adrian VRANIC (5. Radovan PAVICEVIC 65’), 15. Sebastian MALFARA (11. Matthew BARKHO 65’), 17. Glen TRIFIRO (18. Shaun IRWIN 70’,) 19. Sean SYMONS (7. Daniel BITTAR 65’)
Substitutes not used: 4. Nicola KULESKI, 6. Jordan ROBERTS
Ahead of the next step in Usain Bolt’s football journey at Campbelltown Stadium this Friday, Usain Bolt spoke with Mariners Media. Two time NRL Premiership Winner, James Maloney was also a special guest at today’s training session who met Usain Bolt and Matt Simon. Bolt spoke about his improvement and mentality heading into Friday night’s pre-season trial.
Both teams will compete for the ‘Shake It Up Cup’ an initiative that will raise awareness for the Shake It Up Australia Foundation. Shake It Up Australia is a not-for-profit organisation established in partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) that promotes and funds Parkinson’s disease research in Australia aimed at better treatments and ultimately a cure
Match details Macarthur South West United vs. Central Coast Mariners Friday 12 October 2018 Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium Tickets: CLICK HERE TV: Broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports Australia 503 Kick-off: 7:30pm
The Central Coast Mariners are heading to Wollongong on October 5* to face the Wollongong Wolves in a pre-season clash under the Friday night lights of WIN Stadium. Kick-off is 7:30pm. NOTE: If this fixture clashes with the FFA Cup it may be rescheduled to Saturday October 6.
Tickets are available via ticketmaster.com.au from Thurs 27 September (8AM). Central Coast Mariners supporters can book their place on one of the club’s supporter buses by CLICKING HERE.
A match against the NPL 1 outfit will offer Mike Mulvey’s Mariners an invaluable hit out just weeks before Hyundai A-League Round 1.
The trip to Wollongong will offer a homecoming for three of the current Mariner players in Josh Macdonald, Corey Gameiro and Jordan Murray. Josh Macdonald is an Unanderra Hearts junior and was playing for the Wollongong Wolves before signing with the Mariners. Corey Gameiro has also featured for the Wolves and spent time as a junior with Lake Heights FC and Port Kembla FC. Not to mention Jordan Murray who climbed the junior ranks at Bulli FC and Russell Vale Junior FC before also playing for the Wolves.
Wolves’ Head Coach, Luke Wilkshire welcomes the Mariners with open arms and spoke highly of the opportunity for his players.
“This is a great opportunity to get an A-League team down here in Wollongong,” Wilkshire said. “Anyone from Wollongong is really passionate about the region so I am sure that the Wollongong boys who play for the Mariners will be looking forward to playing in their home town. There will be plenty of football fans in Wollongong who will be keen to see some of our former players who have made that step into the A-League.
“The game is a great showcase for football in Wollongong and for the region to show everyone how passionate we are about football.
“For our players who play in NPL 1, this is a chance to step up and show that they can match it with players in the A-League. It will be a really good test for them and we’re really looking forward to it.“Playing at WIN Stadium on a Friday night is perfect, so it will be a great night for football in Wollongong,” Wilkshire said.
Match details Wollongong Wolves vs. Central Coast Mariners Friday 5 October 2018* (NOTE: If this fixture clashes with the FFA Cup it may be rescheduled to Saturday October 6. Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong Tickets: Available via ticketmaster.com.au from Thurs 27 September (8AM). Kick-off: 7:30pmpm Hash-tags: #WOLvCCM & #CCMFC
Bolt debuts, Clisby bags brace against Central Coast Select .
The Central Coast Mariners proudly shared the pitch with a valiant Central Coast Select in a seven-goal thriller, with a second-half appearance from Usain Bolt that made for one of the most exciting pre-season matches the Hyundai A-League has ever seen.
Central Coast Stadium was abuzz with Bolt-fever ahead of Friday night’s friendly between the Mariners and Central Coast Football’s finest. Whilst the man of the moment stayed on the sideline, the fans were treated to plenty of footballing action in the opening half. The Yellow and Navy fired home five before half time, Jack Clisby opening up the score in less than 30 seconds. Michael McGlinchey, Peter Kekeris, Mario Shabow and then Jack Clisby again all put away goals for the Mariners in the first 45.
Fireworks, a DJ, Lee Academy Dance troup and hundreds of kids on the pitch at half time built a party atmosphere like the Coast has never seen.
The Central Coast Select squad weren’t without their own chances, Keith Gumbs putting the Mariners defensive pace to the test, but it was nothing the Yellow and Navy backline couldn’t handle. At half time, the Mariners went into the sheds with a 5-0 lead.
Both teams made use of their unlimited substitutions, and the two squads returned to the pitch for the second half with plenty of fresh faces.
Josh Macdonald made it 6-0 for the Mariners in the 57th minute, before a superb free kick from Tim Knight put Central Coast Select on the scoreboard.
In the 71st minute, Central Coast Stadium and the footballing world witnessed a moment of sporting history: Usain Bolt took to the pitch for the Central Coast Mariners.
The ‘fastest man alive’ showed positive signs in his maiden hit-out, causing an uproar in the crowd as he took his first few touches in the Mariners’ attacking third. In his 19 minutes on the pitch, Bolt managed to notch a shot and a shot assist, and the fans were erupted every time he got involved.
There were plenty of chances but no more goals for the Yellow and Navy at the tail end of the second half, and the score remained 6-1 to the Mariners as the final whistle blew on an historic pre-season match for the Central Coast.
The Central Coast Mariners would like to thank the Central Coast Select team for a competitive match played in the best of spirits. The Club would also like to thank the biggest pre-season crowd in Mariners’ history for lighting up Gosford on Friday night.
1’ CLISBY GOAL (1-0): Not even 30 seconds into the first half and the Mariners made their mark on the scoresheet, Jack Clisby firing from a distance to find the back of the net.
12’ McGLINCHEY GOAL (2-0): Two Mariners veterans combine to create the Mariners second goal. A close-range strike from Matt Simon is blocked by Select keeper Aaron Zavolokin, but Michael McGlinchey is there to send the ball home.
14’ KEKERIS GOAL (3-0): Kekeris goes on a blazing run down the centre of the pitch, wins a one-on-one with the keeper and finishes with a tidy strike.
29’ SHABOW GOAL (4-0): A cross from Pain finds Mario Shabow right in front of goal, and he makes no mistake at close-range to put the Mariners ahead four goals to nil.
41’ CLISBY GOAL (5-0): A superb header from a corner kick makes it two goals for Jack Clisby and five for the Yellow and Navy.
57’ MACDONALD GOAL (6-0): Josh Macdonald fires into the back of the net to make it 6-0 for the Mariners.
79’ KNIGHT GOAL (6-1): Central Coast Select come onto the score sheet with an impressive free kick from Tim Knight that curls into the far post from outside the 18-yard box.
After a thrilling trial match with nearly 10,000 fans in the stadium, Head Coach Mike Mulvey gave his thoughts on his squad’s performance and the Bolt-buzz surrounding the pre-season match.
“I think tonight was win-win exercise.” Mulvey said. “It was a great exercise, and the club needs to be applauded for going out on a limb, and I think the big fella did ok.
Bolt took to the pitch in the 71st minute, which gave Mulvey an opportunity to gauge his progress since beginning training with the Mariners.
“[Bolt’s] a confident guy.” Mulvey said. “The game changed in the second half, because we scored quite a few goals in the first half and they dropped a lot deeper so there was no space in behind, so that’s very difficult for any player coming onto the field when that happens.” He said. “It was a good exercise. He was a little bit nervous, but I’m quite happy with him.
“I know a few people in sport, and one of my closest friends told me do not ever as anyone to do something technical and tactical unless you’ve got the physical capability to do it.” Mulvey said. “So, I’m not going to judge him on whether he can zip past somebody, or get past the end of a header: we’ve got to get him fit, so we’ve got to give him time. The comments I made on the very first press conference was that I’ll give 12 months if required; and I’ve heard that he’s said “give me four months to get fit.” He said.
Despite the media attention focused on Bolt, Mulvey is keeping his attention fixed on the squad as a whole, and the club’s upcoming Hyundai A-League season.
“I don’t have any pressures for him to play.” He said. “That’s the point, there’s nobody tapping on my shoulder saying “you’ve got to play him”. I was happy to put him on – we had two triallists on today.” Mulvey said.
“We had Andrija playing in the second half as well, a player from Serbia who just came off the plane the other day.” He said. “We had four guys from the NPL who either played in the first half or played in the second half. We’re still trying to get our mix right, and it’s going to be a long task, but we’ve got players who understand what that task is.
“Usain apart, we need to really focus on what it is that will be required to make us a more successful football club.” He said.
“When I spoke to Mike Charlesworth and Shaun Mielekamp early on, it was about potentially being creative and innovative. You can’t get any more creative and innovative than Usain Bolt, but at the same time, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a competitive team on the field.” Mulvey said.
For Mulvey, tonight’s win is only one step toward a brighter future for the club, and he is hopeful that the Central Coast will get behind their team to help make it happen.
“The first thing we need to do is get the people of the Central Coast behind us.” He said. “We are the one team in the Central Coast area, we’re the only professional team, and we’re trying to build bridges that have been broken a little bit, we’re trying to bring a smile back to their faces, and the only way you can do that, in my experience, is to win games.
“I’m not saying that we’re going to build a team that’s going to win the league in the first year, we need to build a team that has great pride in the shirt, for the community. To actually go out there and never say die, never give in.” Mulvey said.
“Today was a game against a local select team, and you would expect that we should win this game.” He said. “We scored some good goals, but I’m telling the public that it’s not the finished article. What I’m asking the public to do is to stick by us. We’re going to rise from the ashes and we’re going to produce a good football team that people will be proud of.” Mulvey said.
After his very first appearance for the Mariners, Usain Bolt thanked everyone on the Central Coast for their support.
“I was happy to be out there, to get the experience.” Bolt said. “All the fans gave me their support and I really appreciate that.”
“The fans really helped me, I really enjoy the energy that they give. It was wonderful. I enjoyed every moment out on the field, and I look forward to my next round,” He said.
Bolt knows there is plenty of hard work ahead for him, and looks forward to improving with the help of Mike Mulvey.
“It’s not for me to assess my performance, that’s for the coach.” Bolt said. “I think I did ok, but the coach will see things that I can’t see, so I will wait until I see the coach and talk to him, and he will explain to me that I did this wrong, I could have done this better, so I look forward to that,”
“I knew that [my fitness] might be an issue, so that’s why we said only twenty minutes.” He said. The more I work, the more I’ll get playing time, so it’s just all about getting my fitness up. Like I said earlier in the week, now is all about putting in the work and getting ready for the season.”
“I think in four months, I’ll be fit, I’ll be getting a lot more time on the ball. I personally feel that I’ll get a contract by then, I’ll be playing much more. It’s just about working, and taking my time, but I think in four months, I’ll be one of the boys,” Bolt said.
With a celebrated career in athletics already under his belt, Bolt knows the value of confidence and dedication, and wants to put in the hard work to create his future in football.
“You’ve got to be confident.” Bolt said. “After I got my first touch, I felt ok. I thought, you know what, just get as many touches as possible, because the more touches you get, the more confident you are. For me, it’s all about getting touches, and I felt ok,” He said.
“It’s just like starting a new career. I look at it like when I just started running: I have to learn everything and figure out what I need to do to get better.” He said. “I’m taking it seriously, and I want to go as far as I possibly can. When I started track and field, I didn’t know how great I was going to be, and I’m looking at football just like that – I don’t know how great I’m going to be, but I’m going to enjoy the journey and I’m going to put my all into it,” Bolt said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk) (12. Adam PEARCE 46’), 3. Jack CLISBY 5. Antony GOLEC (26. Josh NISBETT 71’), 8. Michael McGLINCHEY (95. Usain BOLT (T) 71’), 11. Connor PAIN (16. Josh MACDONALD 46’), 17. Peter KEKERIS ( 27.Andrija MAJDEVAC (T) 46’), 18.Matthew MILLAR (25. Jordan MURRAY 46’) , 19. Matt SIMON (14. Adam BERRY 46’) ,20. Kalifa CISSE (15.Kye ROWLES 52’), 22. Jacob MELLING (4.Jake McGING 46’), 23. Mario SHABOW (35’ 6. Tom HIARIEJ)
Central Coast Select:, 8. Alex BURRELL(3. Daniel BIRD 46’), 2. Robbie WALTON (21. Michael TAWYER 46’), 16. Jared McNEE (5. Anthony PACE 46’)), 19. Matt PAGE (13. Reece CAIRA 46’), 15. Matthew KENNY(10. Stuart ADAMS 46’), 11. Keith GUMBS (4. Jai McNAMARA 46’), 22. Jacob CABAN (9. John WHELPDALE 46’), 1. Aaron ZAVOLOKIN (20. Declan DRAKE 46’), 12. Briyce FIELDER (14. Andrew KLIJN 46’), 6. Daniel MOFFETT (7. Tim KNIGHT 46’), 18. Matthew HALL (17. Cameron PRYSE-JONES 46’)
Saturday, 31 August 2018 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Central Coast Mariners vs. Central Coast Select