Influential National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s star Matt Sim has called time on his playing career with Sydney United 58, a club he spent and had great success at for five seasons.
The 33-year-old made the announcement on Thursday as tributes flowed from the United 58 club, players and coaching staff, praising Sim’s time with the former NSL giants.
“I spent five amazing years at United 58,” Sim told Football NSW.
“Never did I expect to be at the club for that long, but as soon as a I arrived it felt like the right place to be.
“I’ll look back on my time there with many great memories.”
Citing a decision to embark on his next chapter as a coach, the A-Licensed accredited former A-League star stated to Football NSW an opportunity arose that he couldn’t refuse in a pathway to ignite his coaching journey.
“Obviously I am getting closer to the end of my playing career than the start, with that in mind a new opportunity came up in coaching for me.
“Once I made the decision that it was best for me to take it with my future in mind, it was clear that logistically it wouldn’t work for me to continue to play at United 58.
“The timing is the hard part, given it would have been great to finish off the season and chase another trophy, but I guess that’s football.”
During his five-years, Sim became a fan favourite with the United 58 faithful who enjoyed watching the “Arjen Robben” look-a-like do his thing, scoring quality goals and playing fantastic football at the famous BOKA Stand as well as other rival NPL NSW Men’s grounds.
Asked what his fondest achievements and memories were, Sim highlighted the 2019 and 2020 seasons as one’s he will never forget.
“I think winning the 2020 NPL NSW Men’s Grand Final is up there given how long between finals wins it was for the club.
“But also the success at the back end of the 2019 season with a Waratah Cup Final, Grand Final and a spot in the FFA Cup Round of 32 also stands out.
“We had something like 5 games in 14 days with semi-finals, mid-week matches and missing some very key players, so it was a great achievement.”
A number of quality players passed through the doors at Edensor Park as Sim mentioned the ones that made an impact with him during his time.
“When I arrived at the club, the team was loaded with guns such as Panny Nikas, Glen Trifiro and Nick Stavroulakis. Playing with the likes of them who have had so much success at this level was a pleasure.
“To be honest, to see Tricky still playing at a high level proves the saying “like a fine wine” still exists in football.”
It wasn’t just the quality of players Sim had the pleasure of playing with but coaches too who had a major impact on his career.
“Every coach I had at the club taught me so much.
“The great thing about United 58 is that it is such a great club with long history, their network of ex-players and people associated with the club allows them to select top quality people to come and coach the first team, which helps breed continuous competitive teams.”
Hanging up the boots was not an option yet for Sim who will most certainly be part of the NPL NSW Men’s setup albeit with a new club and colours.
“As I said I have coaching on the horizon with this new opportunity which I can’t wait to begin, and I’ll be looking to playing again next season again as a I feel like the body has some gas left in the tank.”
Sim will be announcing his new coaching gig along with which club he will finish out his NPL NSW Men’s career at in due course.