Bobo, who turns 36 next Saturday, is on day six of a stint in hotel quarantine with his family in Adelaide, where their flight landed, and is passing the time by watching movies, reading books, playing Resident Evil on his son’s PlayStation 4, and keeping fit by running on a treadmill provided by the club.
He is hopeful of being available for selection soon after his release and is embracing coach Steve Corica’s plans for him to play off the bench – at least initially – as the “best way” to manage his conditioning and to give Buhagiar a chance to prove he can become a regular goalscoring threat in the A-League.
Bobo believes he can assist the Olyroos frontman in his development but warned he has no plans to play second fiddle for the entire season, vowing to give Buhagiar and strike partner Kosta Barbarouses the sort of competition that will keep them on their toes.
“I’m sure I can help him,” Bobo said of Buhagiar.
“I can pass to him my experience in the box: things inside the box, the way to score goals. I’ve seen his games. He’s a very good player.
“I’m still hungry to win trophies, and to get the Golden Boot. My career is always like this, and I want to continue.
“I feel like normal, like when you get older a little bit. But I still feel like I can play a couple of years.”
Corica said: “His goalscoring record is phenomenal and it means we’ve now got excellent competition for places among our strikers. The experience he brings will also benefit our young forwards who we want to develop, and they will learn a huge amount from him.
“I’ve no doubt we’ll see plenty of goals when he plays as he is a proven scorer and will get plenty of service. It’s a real coup for us. He’ll bring a point of difference and an even sharper edge up front.”
The former Besiktas frontman scored 36 goals in 37 games in all competitions in 2017-18 for Sydney under Graham Arnold, taking out the A-League’s Golden Boot award to go with his FFA Cup and premiership winners’ medals.
He is a cut-price replacement for the departed Adam Le Fondre, whose move to India left the Sky Blues with little room under a reduced salary cap, but Corica is banking on him being value for money and counting on his familiarity with the unique Australian conditions to bring out his lethal best, while the team won’t be as reliant on him as they were in his first stint.
Bobo has kept a close eye on the Sky Blues. He regularly caught A-League highlights from Brazil and watched last season’s grand final. Although some key personnel might have moved on, he still sees the same old Sydney FC.
“The mentality is the same,” he said. “We’ve changed the players but kept the mentality. It’s the most important thing. And also Bimbi has proved in the two past years that he’s a very good coach.
“We hope to continue doing what the club has done in the last four, five years. The challenge now is to win the third consecutive trophy.”
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.