Football 1 year ago

Comeback king Ibini itching for return

  • Comeback king Ibini itching for return

    CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 19: Bernie Ibini-Isei of Sydney looks on during the FFA Cup Semi Final match between Canberra Olympic and Sydney FC at Viking Park on October 19, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Powered by his sterling FFA Cup semi-final comeback, reinvigorated Sydney FC winger Bernie Ibini is itching to take his game back to the A-League.

Ibini played his first competitive minutes in nearly 18 months on Wednesday night, blazing off the bench to score the Sky Blues' third goal against Canberra Olympic and seal their first final berth.

It was a moment that will live long in the memory of the 24-year-old, who thought he may never have played again had he not returned to Australia for medical treatment following a horrible leg injury in Belgium.

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Ibini's blistering pace in rushing onto Matt Simon's cross betrayed no signs of the broken fibula and torn ligaments that still affected his ankle in July when he re-joined Sydney on loan from Club Brugge.

"I'm over the moon," Ibini told AAP.

"I couldn't have dreamed for a much better comeback ... but there's room for improvement.

"The fitness will come with playing games so I'm definitely hoping for more minutes."

Ibini has been named in coach Graham Arnold's squad to face Wellington Phoenix on Sunday and could well find himself clocking his first A-League minutes since the Sky Blues' 2014-15 grand-final loss.

From there, the challenge will be pushing his way back into a starting line-up stacked with attacking talent and already featuring in-form right winger Filip Holosko.

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