Simon happiest at home

The ink is still drying on Matt Simon's new two-year deal at the Mariners, but the street-smart striker is already convinced his decision to stay has been vindicated.

The ink is still drying on Matt Simon's new two-year deal at the Mariners, but the street-smart striker is already convinced his decision to stay has been vindicated.

Protracted contract negotiations drew to a close earlier this month when Simon agreed a new deal to keep him at Bluetongue Stadium until the end of the 2011/12 season, ending a long courting process involving clubs from as far afield as America.

Simon showed maturity beyond his years in not accepting the first - or flashiest offer - to be thrown across his table.

"Negotiations were going on for ages with the Mariners and it was hard to say no to the other clubs but I think I made the right decision," he said.

"Some of the deals looked okay and others weren't that inviting so I thought I'd have another year or two in the A-League and see what comes my way."

"I've got family and friends here and if the right deal had come my way I wouldn't have hesitated to move, but the Mariners came up with a good offer and I'm happy to stay and see what eventuates."

That decision has allowed Simon to finish off - well, almost finish off - a project he began with partner Angie several years ago.

The pair bought a rundown house on picturesque Brisbane Waters and gutted it before taking on that most testing of relationship challenges - renovations.

"I don't think renovations are ever completely done but we're getting there," Simon revealed.

"I picked up some plastering skills before football and we've basically done the whole thing ourselves."

"If I'm not working on the house you'll more than likely find me on the water on my boat."

"But now the season is underway there isn't much time for anything else."

The Mariners' 2009/10 campaign is undergoing some of a re-build itself after a season that can be best described as consistently inconsistent.

Twelve games have brought about four wins, four draws and four losses for a fifth-place spot on the Hyundai A-League table.

Simon's form has mirrored that of his team, four goals a slim return for the Central Coast locals junior after he found the back of the net 11 times in 21 games last year .

"Just steady," he said when asked for a self-assessment.

"I haven't really got an answer on why it hasn't really flowed on for me."

"But once we get some consistency going as a team, hopefully I can start scoring a few more goals."

"I'd certainly like a few more."

Simon knows goals are the only commodity he has to trade in if he's to somehow force his way back into national coach Pim Verbeek's consciousness.

The 23-year-old forward has two Socceroos caps to his name - against Indonesia and Kuwait - but knows there is a fair queue in front of him as we head into a World Cup year.

"You've got to be in good form to get a look in so I'm just concentrating on doing well for the Mariners and see what the future brings," Simon said of his national team ambitions.

"It's no point getting too far ahead of myself."

To that end, Simon only sees Adelaide United up ahead.

The clubs, separated by one point and one place on the table, meet at neutral Canberra Stadium on Saturday night

"Things are going well for the team at the moment despite last week's disappointment (a loss to Newcastle)," Simon said.

"We're pretty happy where we're sitting and the aim is to get a bit of consistency going and score a few more goals."

"Adelaide are one point behind us and even though the game's in Canberra it's our home game, so we definitely have to win to get that buffer on them and stay near the top."