Ibini reunited with mentor

Striker Bernie Ibini has signed for Sydney FC as new coach Graham Arnold's first recruit. Picture: PETER RAE

Striker Bernie Ibini has signed for Sydney FC as new coach Graham Arnold's first recruit. Picture: PETER RAE

FOOTBALL

New Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has lured talented young striker Bernie Ibini away from former club Central Coast, leaving the Mariners fuming at his new deal at the Sky Blues.

Sydney FC on Monday announced the 21-year-old had signed a one-year loan deal from Chinese side Shanghai Dongyam, becoming Arnold's first recruit at the club.

The deal reunites Ibini with his former mentor, who he'd played under for three seasons at the Mariners.

Ibini left the Mariners last June, but after failing to settle in China and the death of his father last year, he rejoined them on a six-month loan deal.

The Central Coast had agreed terms with Shanghai to extend the deal until the end of the 2014-15 season but Sydney FC bettered the cash-strapped Mariners' offer.

Arnold believes Ibini will excite fans with his style of football.

"Bernie is a great acquisition for the club and I'm convinced he'll be a fan favourite," he said. "He's an exciting player, a goal scorer and also a Sydney boy." AAP

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