They are Sydney FC’s new “Killer Bs’ back to supercharge the club’s return to the Hyundai A-League Finals Series in season 2016/17.
The Sky Blues are looking to make up for a forgettable campaign last season, where they missed the Finals Series just a year after playing in the Hyundai A-League grand final.
And it’s the presence of winger Bernie Ibini and inspirational skipper Alex Brosque that has coach Graham Arnold confident of a Sky Blue resurgence this season.
Ibini was a smash-hit for Sydney two seasons ago, scoring seven goals and providing three assists as his pace tore opposition sides to shreds.
Those performances earned the 23-year-old a move to Belgian side Club Brugge, but a broken leg in pre-season saw him miss the entire campaign.
Now back at Sydney FC on loan, Arnold has seen enough from the Nigerian-born flyer to suggest he’ll be back to his best this season.
“We’ve got a great medical team and they’ve done miracles with [Ibini] already,” Arnold told www.a-league.com.au.
“Watching him at training flying down the wing and getting crosses in, I think he’s actually got faster and he’s definitely bigger than what he was when he left.
“He was brilliant for us before he left and I think he’s going to be a great attribute again.”
As will Brosque according to the Sydney FC boss.
The 32-year-old suffered a serious hamstring injury which blighted last season and also threatened his career but after successful surgery and a long rehabilitation process, he’s signed on for another year.
It’s a huge relief for Arnold, who believes Brosque’s absence in the second half of last season was a significant factor in the side’s free-fall down the ladder.
“People underestimate what a big loss Alex Brosque was. The difference between coming seventh and the top three was Alex Brosque,” Arnold said of his skipper.
“You lose your main goal-scorer, you lose your captain, you lose your leader, no team in the A-League can afford that.
“If you took Jamie Maclaren out of Brisbane, [Besart] Berisha out of Victory, [Bruno] Fornaroli out of Melbourne City, the same thing would happen and that happened to us last year.
“Alex Brosque wasn’t happy the way last season went so we were able to get him, a marquee player, inside the cap because he loves Sydney FC so much. That says a lot about him.
“So with Brosquey and Bernie we have a lot of pace this year.”