What's your Football Story?
Featuring: The Socceroos, A-League and International football. Player interviews, opinion/analysis, with a focus on the absurd, humorous and sublime acts that occur on and off the pitch.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Generation Next: Bernie Ibini -Isei
Here is an interview I did with Central Coast Mariners Star Bernie Ibinie - Isei.
Last A-League season you were the top scorer for the Mariners inthe Youth League and then finished the season by playing in the Grand Final against Brisbane Roar. Tell us your thoughts on your performance. Did it surpass your expectation?
Bernie Ibini-Isei: Yeah last season was a great season for me and I certainly surpassed all expectations for the season. To have started off in the youth team and by the end of the season be coming on in the Grand Final it was a dream but certainly not what I was expecting at the start of the season.
Tell us about your football journey so far. How did you get to the Mariners?
Well I was at Blacktown City playing 20's and 1st grade there as well as at Westfield Sports High School with both of them having links with Mariners which helped a lot, where I joined Mariners youth team half way through the season 2 seasons ago and I have continued since then.
Tell us what went through your mind when during the Grand Final when late in the game you where through on goal and the referee blew the whistle before you had the chance to shoot?
To be honest not much I was just thinking about how I was going to finish the chance but then the referee blew the whistle and I was devastated, so there wasn't much I could do but get ready for extra time.
Mustafa Amini, Oliver Bozanic, Sam Gallagher, Mathew Ryan and Trent Sainsbury were also in that camp. It must be a comfortable feeling having your Mariners’ teammates with you?
It definitely helps having so many boys from Mariners there; it makes it a lot easier to fit in straight away.
The Mariners have really got an exciting group of youngsters at the club. What it like being part of the young Mariners crew?
Yeah as you can see throughout the past season he believes in youth which is really encouraging because u know if you work hard and perform you will get your chance, Graham Arnold has been great his brought a lot of professionalism to the club which has helped us young boys mature a lot more quicker.
Graham Arnold has a lot faith in youth what has been your impression of the former Socceroos coach?
It’s been great and it’s good to have so many young boys around, we definitely cop the stick off the older boys though.
Who was your junior team that you played for growing up and your most important influences in your football education?
Earlwood Wanderers, there has been a combination of coaches but the number one influences would have to be my parents they were always pushing me to strive for the best.
What do you hope to achieve in your football career?
I hope to have a long successful career and eventually play in one of the top leagues in Europe.
What was the best piece of advice a coach or anyone has given you?
Best advice was, not matter how tough the situation is you just got to keep working hard and it will happen for you at the right time.
Tell us about your experiences growing up in Australia how did you choose football? The AFL has been targeting African immigrants, did you ever think of playing the oval ball shaped sport?
Well I just started playing soccer at lunch times at primary school and loved it so just continued from there really, no never but I did do athletics when I was younger though and loved basketball.