Mariners, Simon look for ALW upset against Victory

Alex Mitchell |

Matildas forward Kyah Simon is relishing being back in the ALW with the Central Coast Mariners.
Matildas forward Kyah Simon is relishing being back in the ALW with the Central Coast Mariners.

The return of Matildas centurion Kyah Simon could be just what Central Coast need to drive their A-League Women’s finals push in their first season back in the competition.

Returning after a lengthy recovery from knee surgery, 32-year-old Simon and her Mariners face a tricky encounter against the Melbourne Victory as they look to shore up their top-six spot.

Simon did her ACL playing for Tottenham in late 2022, returning in Central Coast’s 2-0 derby win against Newcastle two games ago.

“It was a massive relief for me, to think back to what I went through in that period of time,” she said.

“I’m just super grateful to be able to get back on the pitch after so much time in rehab and so many setbacks.

“Obviously a lot of nerves … but I just had one thing in my head and that was to get through the game, not put any extra pressure or strain on myself than need be.

“And just to enjoy every minute I got to play.”

Simon, who’s scored 29 goals for the national team in 111 outings, signed with the Mariners in the off-season and has now made two substitute appearances as her comeback ramps up.

She admitted returning to the club she started her professional career with was an emotional moment.

“It’s crazy to think there were 16 years or something between times I wore a Mariners jersey,” Simon said.

“It’s crazy and it’s a really nice moment.”

But the Mariners’ clash with Victory will take a back seat to Sunday’s top-of-the-league clash between Melbourne City and Sydney FC.

City are three points clear at the head of the table, but their form has been anything but convincing in recent times having lost back-to-back encounters against Western United and Canberra United.

Alternatively, the Sky Blues clicked into gear to beat Perth 3-1 last weekend with star winger Cortnee Vine scoring twice and finding an assist.

The Glory, who’ve now gone five games without a win, will look to get their campaign back on track when they host Canberra.

Surging Western United will be out for a fourth straight win at home to the Brisbane Roar, while Western Sydney and Newcastle begin the round on Friday night at Wanderers Football Park.