SIMEK AIMING FOR WEDNESDAY RETURN
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Sheffield Wednesday defender Frank Simek says he would like to be back with the Championship club next season.
The 2009-2010 season has been a rollercoaster one for Simek who has seen action in only 15 matches in all competitions, totals far fewer than in his previous seasons with the Owls.
Simek openly admits that it has been difficult to not partake in as many matches this year as he had in other campaigns.
"It's been a pretty frustrating season," Simek recently told YA. "I haven't played as much as I'd like. I've been injury-free but with this being an important part of the season, it's frustrating not playing. Players want to play consecutive games but as a [soccer] player, you just have to deal with ups and downs."
The St. Louis, Missouri native spent a large part of his youth in England and has lived across the Atlantic ever since he signed a developmental contract with Arsenal where he made his debut with the Gunners in December of 2003.
Simek then joined the Owls in the summer of 2005 and, outside of missing most of 2008 with a severe ankle injury, he has been a mainstay with the club.
But with his contract expiring at the end of the season and Wednesday in danger of being relegated to League One, Simek concedes that he may have to consider other options.
"I'd like to stay," affirmed Simek. "[Sheffield] is like a second home to me. My contract is up and nothing has been decided but I'm keeping an open mind. I would want to stay in England. I know the country and I know the league but I just have to keep my options open on everything."
With the season nearing its conclusion, Wednesday currently sit in the relegation zone and are in a battle for survival with Jay DeMerit's Watford. Both clubs have accrued 45 points on the season but Watford own the tiebreaker over Simek and company.
The campaign has also seen a coaching change as Brian Laws left the club by mutual consent and was replaced with Alan Irvine.
Even though recent results may not show it, Simek feels like the team has improved its play under Irvine and he remains confident that the South Yorkshire club will play the 2010-2011 season in the Championship.
"Our team was just playing with a lack of confidence at the start of the season," Simek said of the team's play under Laws. "We weren't picking up any results. Alan came in and helped us get organized and we started playing better. Our confidence is higher now even though the results don't show it, but I think we can get out of [relegation]."
Certainly one of the bright spots this year for Simek was receiving a phone call from US national team coach Bob Bradley for the international friendly versus Holland back in early March.
It had been nearly three years since Simek had been part of a USMNT camp and despite not making the gameday roster for the match against the Dutch, the 25 year old was nonetheless thrilled knowing that he is still on Bradley's radar.
"I was ecstatic," beamed Simek. "It had been three years since I last played for the national team. I had been through my ankle injury and everything so getting the call-up was very pleasing. It was a good experience and it was good to see some of the guys I hadn't seen in three years."
As to whether or not Bradley made any overtones towards the defender that he could be on the 23 man roster in South Africa, Simek says that the message he was told was the same one the head man broadcasted to the rest of the squad.
"He told me what he told everyone else… That he'll be watching us and he'll be seeing who's playing well and who's not," noted Simek.
Having spent so much time in England, the Gateway City resident can be considered an expert on both domestic and international English soccer.
For that reason, many are turning towards Simek to offer his thoughts of the much talked about match-up for the USMNT on June 12th versus England.
He believes that it will be a great challenge for Bradley's squad to contain playmakers like Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott, but that the US is very capable of achieving a result versus the Three Lions.
"It'll be a tough game and we'll have to keep Rooney quiet," analyzed Simek. "But here's no reason why we can't get a result against England. We've shown in the past that we can get play against top teams like beating Spain at the Confederations Cup and hanging with Brazil in the final."
Simek will hope to see some time off the bench as a second half substitute for Wednesday when they take on Middlesborough on Saturday.