Ibini aiming high in 2013

LAKEMBA local Bernie Ibini won’t have to travel far for this weekend’s highly anticipated clash between Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Bernie Ibini

LAKEMBA local Bernie Ibini won-t have to travel far for this weekend-s highly anticipated clash between Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers.

A product of the Westfield Sports High football factory, Ibini has lived much of his life in Sydney-s west.

Indeed, the pacey attacker-s journey from his doorstep to Parramatta Stadium should take little more than 20 minutes on Sunday, providing some welcome relief from the 75 minute commute he regularly makes to the Central Coast with the Club-s other Sydney-based stars including Mathew Ryan, Pedj Bojic and Anthony Caceres.

“It-s always nice playing those Sydney teams, as I am a Sydney boy,” Ibini explained.

“The RBB (Red and Black Bloc) are a great crowd and I am looking forward to the atmosphere that will be at the field on Sunday.”

“They (Western Sydney Wanderers) are definitely a team that is in form, but hopefully we can beat them at the weekend and keep our buffer at the top of the table.”

On Monday, Ibini provided the spark coach Graham Arnold was looking for when he introduced the Mariners- number 9 into the New Year-s Eve clash with Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium.

In fact, Ibini scored the only goal of the game just 15 minutes after being introduced to the contest, helping earn his team three vital Hyundai A-League points.

The goal was Ibini-s third of the campaign, but the young gun said that his target for the term is to reach at least ten, having netted seven last season.

“I am trying to get double figures this season,” Ibini said. “I have got three at the moment so hopefully I can get a few more before the season finishes.”

For now, Ibini doesn-t mind if he attempts to reach his ten-goal target from a starting role or via the bench, he-s just happy being involved in the first team as he continues to learn and improve his game under the guidance of one of Australia-s greatest ever strikers, Arnold.

“I think every player wants to try and start as many games as possible,” he said. “But it-s up to the coach at the end of the day and if he-s happy for me to start on the bench or start the game, whichever one it doesn-t matter to me.”

“I just try to go out there and do my best each and every game.”

Ibini said he was impressed with Shinji Ono-s brace against Melbourne Victory on Tuesday, and is always trying to model his game off players of the highest calibre.

“Both his goals were great goals. He-s a great player and you can tell that by the teams he-s played at.”

“I try to emulate my game on those types of players," he concluded.

Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Central Coast Mariners - Hyundai A-League Round 15 Sunday 6 January, 2013 Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta Kick-off: 6:00pm Transport: Official Central Coast Mariners supporter buses will be running to the match. CLICK HERE for details and bookings. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hashtag is #WSWvCCM