FORMER Central Coast Mariners attacker Bernie Ibini will have company at his new Club Shanghai SIPG, with 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner Daniel McBreen, 36, signing on loan with Gao Hongbo’s side until October.
FORMER Central Coast Mariners attacker Bernie Ibini will have company at his new Club Shanghai SIPG, with 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner Daniel McBreen, 36, signing on loan with Gao Hongbo-s side until October.
McBreen flew to China on Friday and will spend the next five months with the men from Shanghai Stadium as they seek to climb the Chinese Super League standings.
Under the terms of the arrangement, McBreen-s loan spell in China will conclude on October 31, meaning the first game next Hyundai A-League season he could be selected for is the round 4 F3 Derby away to Newcastle Jets on Saturday 2 November.
McBreen, who has previously plied his trade in Romania, Scotland, England, as well as Australia, said the loan move offers him a great opportunity to contribute to Shanghai SIPG-s targets and immerse himself in a new culture.
“It is something I am looking forward to,” he said. “Obviously Bernie has gone there. It-s a wonderful city and a Club that is looking to do things and get bigger and better, so to be part of that will be a great experience.”
McBreen-s standout performances in last season-s Hyundai A-League combined with his consistent displays throughout the Mariners- 2013 AFC Champions League quest caught the eye of Shanghai mentor Hongbo.
Indeed, Hongbo led Central Coast-s 2013 AFC Champions League Group H opponents Guizhou Renhe to their maiden qualification for Asia-s premier club competition in 2012.
The former Chinese international & Head Coach viewed the Mariners- matches in this season-s AFC Champions League, where he was impressed with the Club-s team and individuals.
“We did well in making the last 16 of the AFC Champions League,” McBreen said. “With Bernie going there and now myself we have obviously made an impression and we think we can make a good impact over there. It-s nice to get recognition and the chance to play in a country and a city that is on the up.”
As a youngster, McBreen swapped Newcastle United in the National Soccer League for Universitatea Craiova of Romania-s Liga 1, embarking on his first foray into foreign football.
He said he and Ibini could take comfort from the fact that in a city of over 23 million people a familiar face would never be too far away.
“I-ve done the young guy going overseas thing before on my own and it can be quite difficult,” he said. “It-s always nice to have someone there that you know. I think for both of us it will be nice to have someone there that we can talk to.”
McBreen will be eligible to play for Shanghai SIPG from July 1, meaning his first competitive game for the Club could come against Beijing Guoan on Sunday 7 July.