Matt at home with Mariners

Central Coast Mariners attacker Matt Simon was blown away with the reception he received when he entered the club’s round 1 clash against the Wanderers.

Central Coast Mariners attacker Matt Simon said he was blown away with the reception he received when he entered the Club-s Hyundai A-League round 1 clash against Western Sydney Wanderers last Saturday.

The former East Gosford Rams man departed the Mariners in early January 2012, joining K-League Classic outfit Chunnam Dragons on a three-year deal.

However after a stint unfortunately interrupted by injury in Asia, Simon secured a return to his hometown Club in May this year, signing on for two seasons with the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions.

The 27-year-old said he was pleased to get back on the park after an extensive pre-season of rehabilitation and training.

“When I left to go to Korea I got a massive cheer,” Simon said on Wednesday. “So to come back and get that reception was a really good feeling, and I am really happy to be back.”

“It was my first competitive appearance in proper competition in about 15 or 16 months, so it was good to finally get back out on the park after such a long rehabilitation program.”

“Pre-season went for four or five months, and I had a couple of extra months there with the physio. I hadn-t missed a session or a game all pre-season, so it was actually good to get out and get amongst the competition.”

Simon said the team was disappointed to concede late on and draw with Tony Popovic-s Wanderers, however reckons the team will continue to improve as the season continues.

Next up for Simon and his teammates is a trip south to Victoria to challenge Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday 19 October.

“Usually we start to find our rhythm a few weeks in, so I think that-s going to be the same situation this year,” he said. “I think we-re going to get better and better.”

“We-ve got a few things to work on this week at training and hopefully we can rectify the mistakes that we made on the weekend.”

Simon, a two-time Socceroo, added he was proud to watch his former teammates Oliver Bozanic, Mat Ryan and Mile Jedinak represent Australia-s National Team against Canada on Wednesday morning.

“It-s a big congratulations to Oli (Bozanic) getting his first cap,” he said. “He-s (Bozanic) been involved in camps before but there-s nothing more special than playing for your country. It-s an awesome achievement for the boys.”

Melbourne Heart vs. Central Coast Mariners - Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 2 Saturday 19 October, 2013 AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 5:30pm Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #MHvCCM Watch: Live on Fox Sports 1 & 1HD Listen: Live on ABC Grandstand & Coast FM