Centre forward Jabo Ibehre joins Carlisle United
Carlisle United have today agreed in principle to sign experienced striker Jabo Ibehre on a one-year deal, with an option to extend, which will bring him to Brunton Park for the 2015/16 campaign.
Ibehre, 32, started his career with Leyton Orient where he turned down an offer to join Spurs, at the age of 15, to stay with the O’s. He progressed through the youth ranks at Brisbane Road to make his debut at the age of 17 and went on to make almost 250 appearances during his eight-year stay with the club.
He joined Walsall on a free transfer in 2008 and scored 11 goals in his 43 games for the Saddlers. Roberto Di Matteo took him to MK Dons the following season and he had loan spells with Southend, Stockport and Colchester during his three-year stay at stadium:mk.
Four goals in 15 appearances with the U’s persuaded Joe Dunne to make the move permanent in January 2013 and Ibehre left Essex with a record of 17 goals in 76 appearances, having had loan periods with Oldham and Barnsley.
Manager Keith Curle said: “I’ve said before that we have needed more attacking options and Jabo will give us a focal point.
“He’s a good, solid professional. He likes a challenge and he isn’t scared of the physical aspect of the game in any way. The ball sticks when it comes to him and he takes pride in that.
“He’ll probably tell you himself that his goal return over the years hasn’t been as high as he would have wanted, but his goal attempts and assists have been a big part of what he brings to a team. I’ve already told him that I don’t mind if the goal return is steady, as long as he is still being a handful and helping to create opportunities for those around him.”
“He’s a player who is highly thought of and there are a lot of players who have benefitted from playing beside him,” he continued. “The one that stands out for me is Freddie Sears. I worked with him at Crystal Palace and he can’t speak highly enough about Jabo and the partnership they had.
“Freddie worked and gained profit from the fact that Jabo was doing a lot of the hard work, which then gave him space to do the things he did well. That tells me Jabo approaches his game with honesty and a clear understanding of why he’s in the team.
“We’re pleased we’ve got him and he’s another one I think the fans will enjoy having in their team.”