Moving to a cross-town rival is a tricky road to travel. Just ask Luís Figo, Peter Schmeichel or Carlos Tévez.
And when you are the championship captain of one team departing, well for some fans it’s a forgivable sin and for others it’s an unpardonable betrayal.
Kyah Simon has left the Sky Blue of Sydney FC for the Red and Black of the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“As sad as it is to leave the Sky Blues, which I have been at for a while and enjoyed, I am very excited to join Western Sydney.”
“It’s a new challenge, a new environment for me, a new group of players and supportive coaching staff.”
Simon becomes the latest in a long list of local products to join the Red and Black half of Sydney. In their foundation year the Wanderers lured home Matildas Servet Uzunlar, Teigen Allen, Catherine Cannuli and the recently retired Sarah Walsh to form the core of the squad.
This season, along with Simon, the highest capped current Matilda Heather Garriock, Alanna Kennedy and Queenslander Mackenzie Arnold will join with Matildas vice-captain Emily Van Egmond close to signing on.
With this core group of experienced players the Wanderers are poised to push hard for the Top Four, a position they just missed on in their inaugural W-League season.
“Although there is a sense of ease knowing that I am not going to an entirely new team structure and that I am quite familiar with a fair few of the players that are in the squad.”
“I am excited for the potential that this team could have and I can’t wait to get started and get into pre-season.”
For the 22 year old forward, it is a move was a result of several events converging result in the former Julie Dolan Medallist joining the Wanderers; a natural fit for a footballer born and bred in Quakers Hill.
“I still think highly of the club and Staj has done so much for my career.”
The switch to the Western Sydney Wanderers has re-kindled Simon’s competitive edge after an interrupted season at the Boston Breakers in the new NWSL.
Simon had returned to the Breakers with high hopes after a successful 2012 in the US but this time round the experience was vastly different. Illness, injury, the sacking of a coach and even a terrorism scare with the Boston Marathon bombings made this stateside experience much more eventful.
“It threw a lot of negatives at me and it took a lot to stay positive and attempt to be resilient when nothing was going my way.”
“I came off such a high with winning the Championship last year and then hit an all-time low this season with Boston.”
“It was definitely the biggest test of character in my career thus far and to be honest I think I needed it a little bit. To kind of check myself, re-evaluate why I am playing the game and to re-spark the determination, want and need for success.”
Simon needs a big season.
In fact with the 2014 Asian Cup just a little over eight months away, all current and fringe Matildas need a big season in the W-League; even if you are the 2010 Asian Cup penalty shootout heroine.
It is something the striker is well aware and big part of her motivation to drive her new team forward.
“I guess every player is in the same situation. To be performing well going into what is such an important 12 months and obviously the World Cup is the year after that.”
“It is why I am so excited and determined to excel this W-League season.”
“Getting to the opportunity to join a club like the Wanderers with such a huge support base for the men and the women, it really excites me that there are so many passionate supporters.”
Simon and the Western Sydney Wanderers kick off their season on November 10 against Adelaide United at Marconi Stadium.