Simon back to boost contract bid

Discarded Central Coast striker Matt Simon has returned to training after a groin injury as he bids to win a new A-League contract.

Simon, who is the Mariners all-time leading scorer, was told by the club earlier this month that he wouldn’t be offered a deal beyond this campaign.

Mariners interim boss Tony Walmsley said he would play Simon once he’s fit again, in a boost for the striker’s hopes of winning a new deal elsewhere in the A-League.

Simon hasn’t played since being replaced at half-time on February 17 when the Mariners lost 3-1 to Guangzhou R&F in an AFC Champions League qualifier.

The big forward was back at Mariners training on Thursday and is closing in on a return, and possible farewell, before the conclusion of the season.

“He’s recovered really well from groin surgery. He’s running today,” Walmsley said on Thursday morning.

“In terms of his internal situation, he’s in good shape.

“He’s just recovering from the incision.

“Once that’s fully healed, he should be back into full training really soon, which is great for him and great for us at the back end of the season.”

Simon has made more than 140 appearances for the Mariners and has two Socceroos caps.

Meanwhile, the Mariners will welcome back Eddy Bosnar after suspension, replacing Jacob Poscoliero (hamstring) for Friday’s clash against Melbourne Victory.

Glen Trifiro will return to the bench, with Travis Major missing out altogether.

The game marks left-back Josh Rose’s 150th A-League appearance and the 33-year-old has no plans of letting up.

“It’s nice to get a personal milestone," Rose said. "It’s something to nice to look back on when you finish."

When asked if he hoped to reach 200 games, he added: “That’s the plan.

“I’ve signed on for another two years here, so hopefully I can keep myself fit and keep playing as long as I can.”