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Ibini to trial in Belgium
10 Jan., 2013 9:42 AM GMT
Central Coast Mariners striker Bernie Ibini will trial with Club Brugge as the club's impressive group of young players continues to attract interest in Europe.
Ibini will leave on Sunday for a one-week trial with the Belgian First Division club, missing the Mariners' A-League clash with arch-rivals Newcastle Jets on January 19 but he is expected to return for the visit of Adelaide United a week later.
With Tom Rogic and Mat Ryan lining up trials with Scottish clubs Celtic and Rangers respectively, Central Coast face the prospect of losing three of their finest young players, potentially derailing their title aspirations.
Central Coast have revealed through a written statement that Brugge contacted them to invite Ibini for a trial and the 20-year-old striker jumped at the chance.
Ibini, who made his Central Coast debut off the bench against Wellington Phoenix in the 2009/10 season, has played 55 matches for the Mariners, scoring 11 goals.
Brugge are considered one of the biggest clubs in Belgium having won 13 league titles with the last coming in the 2004/05 season.
Ibini remains contracted to Central Coast until the end of next season meaning they can hold onto the promising forward through the January transfer window and there is no risk he will leave the Mariners for free at the end of this campaign.
The striker has played 15 games, starting seven, but has yet to score this season as head coach Graham Arnold has predominantly used him as a winger.