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Oct 31, 2017   |  6:38AM AET

Simon’s successful return

Simon’s successful return

Kyah Simon is no stranger to producing the spectacular. 

She’s done it throughout her entire career. After becoming the first Indigenous player to represent the Matildas when she made her national team debut as a 16-year-old, Simon has established herself as one of Australia’s most talented players with a long list of domestic and international achievements.

There was that winning penalty to clinch the 2010 Asian Cup, a brace against Norway to guarantee the Matildas a place in the quarter-finals at the 2011 World Cup – where Simon also became the first Indigenous player to score in a World Cup tournament.

And two years ago, she took centre stage once again at the World Cup in Canada, scoring the winning goal against Brazil to propel the Matildas to theirfirst ever win over the South American powerhouses. 

Therefore, it was no surprise to see Simon cap off her first performance in Melbourne City colours with a moment of sheer quality; a 30-yard-strike which sailed past the otherwise unbeatable Melissa Maizels and into the back of the net.

While the goal may have ultimately been in vain, it served as a timely reminder of Simon’s abilities. Coming off a double shoulder reconstruction earlier this year, the 26-year-old is enjoying her football once again and is determined to achieve success during her time in Melbourne. 

“It was my first full game back and I’m pleased with how my body felt running out the 90 minutes,” she said.  “I’m just happy to be back and doing what I love again, and that’s being out there with the girls and playing football.” 

“I’m hoping with each week that goes by that my match fitness will get better, we’ll get better as a team and I can see us playing better football with each week.”

“As a striker, it’s nice to get a goal and the monkey off your back so early. I was pleased but would have taken the three points over scoring any day.”

Championships are neither won or lost after one match, but City will be determined to bounce back from a humbling reverse to Grand Final adversaries Perth at nib Stadium last Friday. 

The reigning champions controlled possession and created a host of goal-scoring opportunities, but were thwarted by a combination of errant finishing and superb goalkeeping from Perth stopper Melissa Maizels on a frustrating evening.

“It’s not the start we wanted,” Simon said. “We had our fair share of chances throughout the game and we should have buried some.

“We looked back at the game and we out-possessed [Perth] in most of the game. We took a lot of positives away and played some quality football. They had five chances and finished four; we had about 20 and only finished one. 

“We know what to do to be better. It’s the first round and we’re only allowing ourselves one of those matches this season.”

Friday night’s blockbuster Melbourne Derby provides City with the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways immediately. For Simon, calling AAMI Park home for the first time is an experience she is looking forward to with great excitement. 

“It’s my first home match in Melbourne, a double-header with the men’s team at AAMI Park. It’s my favourite stadium to play in here in Australia,” Simon said.

“It’s a great pitch and I’m really hoping there is going to be a great crowd out there for our game and then following into the men’s game. 

“The buzz is there in the changing room. We’re excited about it, there’s no bigger game and we’re hoping to put on a great show for our fans.” 

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