It was a momentous occasion for Gema Simon at Allianz Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, as she took the pitch for her 100th Westfield W-League fixture.
Returning from an injury she sustained while playing with Avaldsnes in Norway’s top-flight, Simon made an immediate impact in her milestone match when substituted in the 65th minute by coach, Craig Deans.
The former captain produced a thunderous strike just minutes after taking the field, which was comfortably her side’s best chance of the half to that point.
Simon was tenacious as she transitioned from defence to attack in a high-quality match that had just about everything. With just minutes to spare, she combined with Cortnee Vine off the back of a beautiful long ball from Hannah Brewer – squaring the ledger at 2 goals apiece with the Sky Blues.
The inclusion of Simon for the remainder of the Westfield W-League season is a significant one for Craig Deans, with quality and experience that will be invaluable as his side chases a long-awaited finals berth.
A versatile left sided player, Simon predominately plies her trade at left back but is known to push forward with an eye for goal.
She enjoyed playing alongside the likes of Chery Salisbury, Joanne Peters and Hayley Crawford in her early years at the club before taking the captain’s armband and leading a young side over a number of seasons.
An inaugural squad member in 2008/09 and after 64 appearances in the Hunter, Simon spent a season in Melbourne with the Victory, linking up with long-time teammate Hannah Brewer.
Overseas, Simon enjoyed stints with the Ottawa Fury in the USL and Suwon in the WK League.
Simon made her international debut at the AFC U-19 Women's Championship in 2009 before joining the senior national team in 2014 – making 9 appearances to date.
It’s expected that Simon’s minutes will increase in the coming weeks as the Jets head towards the end of the regular season.