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Central Coast's Simon on brink of Socceroos debut

Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon has had a rapid rise this season and is on the verge of going higher with a Socceroos cap.

Simon turns 23 tomorrow and has enjoyed his best season of football in his short career, playing almost every game in the Mariners first team and sitting equal second on the A-League goal scorers table.

To add to that, Simon has been selected in Pim Verbeek's Socceroos squad that travels to Jakarta for next week's opening Asian Cup qualifier.

With A-League finals around the corner (the Mariners only need a point to finish in the top four), Simon can be excused for getting carried away with what's ahead of him but he will keep his feet firmly planted on the ground in his bid to win a debut international cap.

"I've been called in previously but I haven't actually gone into camp because all the European boys have been fit but when he (Verbeek) announced all A-League players were going to represent the Socceroos in Jakarta I thought I'd be in with a good chance," he said.

"I was absolutely ecstatic, it's capped off a good year so I'm just looking forward to getting in there and hopefully I can get my first cap."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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