‘I don't want to be part of the club’ – Jets star Ibini wants out following Robinson exit

Newcastle Jets star forward Bernie Ibini revealed he wants to leave the club following the departure of former coach Carl Robinson.

Robinson was unveiled as Western Sydney Wanderers head coach on Friday, 16 October after taking over in the Hunter midway through last season.

Ibini was Robinson's first A-League signing in February 2020, reconnecting with coach he played under during his time with Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer in 2017/18.

After returning to Australia from Korea Republic outfit Jeonbuk Motors on a short-term deal, the two-cap Socceroo turned out six times in the protracted 2019/20 season, scoring one goal.

Ibini penned a deal to extend his time in Newcastle on Wednesday, 7 October, but explained the only reason he agreed to stay was to play for Robinson.

“I only signed for Newcastle because of Carl, who I worked with in the MLS,” said Ibini, as reported by SBS The World Game.

“The club officials know this – it was clear this was the only reason.

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“The Jets have let key figures go, including players and coaching staff, and it’s obviously been unsettling,” he added.

“I hope for the club’s sake new owners come in but for me moving forward I just don’t think it’s the right fit for me anymore.

“I need to take control of my position and the direction of my career.”

Nick Fitzgerald was the latest player to leave Newcastle on Friday, 23 October, following the departures of Dimitri Petratos, Matt Millar and loanee James Donachie over the off-season.

Last week, Jets midfielder Steven Ugarkovic revealed he felt ‘it was time for a change’ after five seasons in the Hunter Valley.

Ibini’s agent James Hardy revealed the pacey attacker had ‘numerous significant higher offers from other clubs’ before joining the Jets – but his preference was always to work with Robinson.

Ibini added: “I have had honest and direct communication with the club, and out of respect for them, I have told them exactly how I feel. I am not happy.

“I am disappointed that the situation has got to this stage with people who I thought I had a good relationship with.

“I have made it very clear I don't want to be part of the club moving forward.”

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