Former Mariners hero Matt Simon says the desire for an entertainment-first playing style at the Central Coast A-League outfit “underestimates” the winning attitude of fans and the club’s players.
The Sydney FC striker returns to Gosford tomorrow (Sat) for a highly anticipated NSW derby.
Simon was born and bred on the Central Coast and spent nine seasons at the club.
During this time he became a leading goalscorer for the club and was voted into their Team of the Decade.
He said that while some at the Mariners believe entertaining fans with an expansive game this season is vitally important, he claims their players and fans only have winning on their mind.
“I think they’re underestimating the people. Central Coast people, they’re hard workers and they want to win,” Simon told the official Sydney FC website.
“I know a lot of people on the Central Coast want to win.
“If they want entertainment they can go to Erina Fair or down to the Crown Plaza they can get it.
“When they go to football they want to see their team win and I know their players want to win as well.”
The hard as nails striker also admitted he was disappointed with how his time at the Mariners ended but had nothing but praise for the Sky Blues and the way their club was run.
“The decision to leave [Mariners] was taken out of my hands and once it was, my eyes were really opened up to a different side of things,” he said.
“It’s different professionalism at this club [Sydney FC], it’s a different level and the best I’ve been at.
“Arnie [coach Graham Arnold] is still the same person he is and I can’t speak highly enough of this club, the way they look after their players, the facilities and the professionalism of the place is outstanding.
“It definitely never crossed my mind when I was nine seasons at the Mariners [that I’d play against them] but it comes up tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I feel like I’m going there with a clear mind and nothing to prove."
And the Sky Blues will have a little extra support from Simon, his clan and mates.
“It’s the first time my family and friends will be going to Gosford and actually barracking for Sydney, they’re all looking forward to it there’s quite a few numbers going so.”