Not many South African football fans would have heard of Matt Sim prior to his goal exploits against Kaizer Chiefs in the 2016/17 MTN8 recently.
The 28-year-old scored the winner as Amakhosi were dumped out of the season-opening competition with a 1-0 loss to the new Cape Town City franchise.
Sim is an Australian, but he has never represented his country, making him very much an unknown entity for both opposition clubs and fans alike.
A holding midfielder who favours his left foot, Sim does like to join the attack b when possible. He appears cool and calm on the ball and seems set to become the lynch-pin around which the Cape side’s more attack-minded players can push forward, safe in the knowledge that Sim has them covered. Its early days yet, but the Sydney-born midfielder seems to be a player much in the mould of former Sundowns man Matthew Pattison.
Sim spent his entire career in his homeland before crossing the Indian Ocean for his first sojourn abroad. He was a slightly late starter after only breaking through to play professional football in his mid-20s.
After spending his youth career with Newcastle Jets, Sim played for Manly United in Australia’s semi-professional ranks of New South Wales from 2010 until 2013. Before joining another semi-pro team called Sutherland Sharks.
He finally burst on the professional scene in 2014 when he earned a move to A-League club Central Coast Mariners. He established himself as a reliable and often dangerous presence and holds the record for most goals in a FFA Cup match after scoring four times in a single game.
He also played for another A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers, but after limited game-time, was released earlier this year.
That prompted City and their new owner John Comitis to swoop as they sought to rebuild a team under Eric Tinkler.
“The Club was looking for a versatile and experienced player, that would be able to play numerous positions and bring a high level of professionalism,” Comitis said.
“That is why we have gone beyond the borders of Africa to bring Matt Sim who has a great deal of experience in the Australian league and definitely fits the bill.”
Catch Sim and his new club in action in the MTN8 semi-final first leg against Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday (10 September) night.