Striker Jabo Ibehre on joining Carlisle United
Striker Jabo Ibehre spoke to us about his move to Carlisle United shortly after he signed the deal on Thursday afternoon.
“I spoke to Lee [Dykes] probably about three weeks ago,” he said. “We had a really good talk about things and I could tell there was there interest in me. I was really keen to speak to everyone up here so we had a couple of meetings.
“I believed in what they were saying and I’m still a player who wants to learn and keep going. I want to bring something to the table as well and I felt, after my conversations with Lee and Keith, that something good could happen for me here.”
“The manager told me he wants someone to add a bit of presence up front,” he explained. “He expects me to lead the line and to be a handful and a nuisance. I think I can bring that in abundance because I know I’ll be working with people who want to push this club on. Can we get higher and get promoted? Why not, is what I would say to that.”
“There has been interest from elsewhere, some of it from a higher level, but I have a great feeling about this,” he added. “Sometimes people perform better when they’re out of their comfort zone, but I’ve heard about the ambition the manager has for the club and I’m looking forward to being part of it.
“I could have stayed down south but, having heard what I’ve heard, I’m more than happy to be here to give it a go. It’s going to be a good test for me and I’m really looking forward to it.”
On going through the summer without having secured a club, he said: “Obviously it’s good now that the contract has been signed but I wouldn’t say it’s been too frustrating. Things have changed from how they were a couple of years ago.
“It all used to happen very early but these days it tends to take a bit longer. As you go on you know that something will come, so the main thing is to take your time and make sure it’s the right thing for you and your family.
“Now that I’m here I want to be involved in bringing some good times. I want to come here and do well for myself and, if that’s happening, it means I’ll be helping the team as well. My game has improved immensely over the years so I’ll be sharing some of that knowledge with the other lads in the dressing room.
“There are a couple of names in there I recognise. I’ve played against Michael Raynes a lot, so he might not want to meet me when I think about it! There are a few others I know about so I’m looking forward to working with them.”
And he was quick to assure us that location hadn’t been a factor in his decision making process.
“I was at Oldham and Barnsley last season but I don’t think I ever thought I’d be this far up north,” he admitted. “As I say, when you come out of your comfort zone you learn a lot about yourself, so this is fine with me.
“I’m passionate about the game so it makes no difference where you’re playing, as long as you’re with the right people and with a good team. I’m here to get the best out of myself and to hopefully help some of the younger players along as well.
“It’s a fresh challenge for me and that can only be good. I suppose it’s like milk – you don’t want it when it’s gone off, you want it as fresh as possible! You want to be in a vibrant place and with a club that has a buzz. Sometimes you walk through a door and it hits you like that, and that’s what happened with Carlisle. The first meeting was good and I came out of the second one thinking it was something I could actually do.
“My first impressions of the place are fantastic. Everything is on site and handy and I know I’m going to like it. The good thing is that the contract is agreed and we are already into pre-season. I’ve had a break, and that has flown by, but it’s good to be back and involved with football again. It’s a great way to get to know everybody and to get going.”
Speaking about the terms of his contract, he said: “The contract is incentivised but, to be honest, my incentive is just to be playing football. I love the game, so anything else is an added bonus. I give 100% every time I go out and that won’t change for any reason.
“I’m here to do my job and if I can share things with people who are ambitious and who also want success then I’m all for it. This is a physical league bit I think I’ll be fine. I’ll be causing havoc, terrorising people and getting as many goals as I can.”
“I just want to get on with it and show the fans what I can do now,” he told us. “I have some good memories of coming up here to Brunton Park. Mind you, there have been some long journeys heading the other way after a defeat as well.
“I know a lot about Carlisle because I’ve been up here a few times. I remember when I was a kid at Orient and we were both at the wrong end of the table. We won that one and I suppose that goes down as one of the happier memories.
“The fans are really good here when they get behind the lads, that’s something I do know. That’s what you want. With what is going on here I think we could easily bring the good times back for them. I think we can challenge in League Two with the signings we’ve made. If everyone is on the same page, and working hard, then it’s there for us.”
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