Kosta Barbarouses set to join elite group with 300th A-League appearance

posted in: A-League (Men), All Whites, News

All Whites and Wellington Phoenix forward Kosta Barbarouses is poised to join an elite group of A-League footballers with his 300th appearance in the competition.

Friday night’s fourth-round Isuzu UTE A-League match against the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park in Melbourne will put him in the 300 club with only seven other players, including former Phoenix captain Andrew Durante.

Kosta Barbarouses … about to make his 300th A-League appearance. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

“It’s great to do it in a league like this,” Barbarouses (33) said.

“It’s given me a lot.”

“I went to Europe early on in my career, and since then, just because of how good the league is and has been to me and we’re living on the best side of the world for me and playing football, I haven’t had a strong urge to move since.”

A 17-year-old Barbarouses made his A-League debut 16 years ago, coming off the bench for the Phoenix in round nine of their inaugural season.

The born and bred Wellingtonian has since won four league titles with Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory (twice) and Sydney FC, either side of stints at his hometown club.

Kosta Barbarouoses …. ‘I want to push myself.’

Barbarouses, who has played 54 times for New Zealand, never thought he’d play 300 A-League matches.

“It’s not something you really target. You just try to give yourself the best chance to have a long career and I think I have done that.

“I’m pretty happy with the achievement. I think more so it’ll be something to look back on at the end of my career and be proud of.

“I’m still going so I’ve still obviously got goals to achieve. I just want to push myself as much as a I can past this as well.”

It’s fitting Kosta Barbarouses is poised to reach the milestone in Melbourne, where he won two A-League titles with the Victory.

“I’ve got really fond memories of Melbourne. I was at the club for five years and it was a very successful five years.

“It’s funny how the stars have sort of aligned to have it there and at a great stadium like AAMI Park. I’ve got a lot of friends and family who will be there too.”

Kosta Barbarouses interview

Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano is hoping to celebrate Barbarouses’ 300th game with a win.

“Any victory tomorrow would be great,” Italiano told media ahead of the team’s Thursday flight to Melbourne. “The fact that it falls on Kosta’s 300th game is also fantastic.

“We believe we can beat anyone on any day. We’re not going to go there to defend. We’re going to go there to build on what we’ve done over the last three weeks.

“There’s a lot of confidence in the group, there’s a lot of belief in the group and I feel like the fans are warming to the way that we’re playing, and we just want to continue that.”

Both sides go into Friday’s game unbeaten

Like the Phoenix, the Victory are unbeaten three games into the new season.

“We played them in a pre-season friendly and out of the pre-season friendlies I thought they were the toughest opponent. There’s no coincidence that they’re doing well.

“Popa’s (Victory coach Tony Popovic) evolved as well from last year’s style. I think they’re a little bit more active this year, a little bit more in your face and they press quite high. They’re actually a good team to watch.”

The Nix beat Victory 1-0 in their pre-season match that was played behind closed doors in Melbourne.

“It was a friendly. What we got out of that was we learnt a bit more about our team spirit.

“But at the end of the day that friendly has been forgotten about. They’ve evolved, we’ve evolved and the variable now is you’ve got a crowd, we’re further into the season and so the expectations for both teams have changed a little bit.

“It’s a different dynamic but I think they will have the pressure on them being the home team.”

Giancarlo Italiano interview

Conchie, Sutton and Ball included in squad

Giancarlo Italiano is able to call on a near-full-strength squad for Friday night’s match.

Fin Conchie is back from injury and Sam Sutton and David Ball have been included in the team’s travelling party.

Jack Duncan hasn’t made the trip to Melbourne as he’s still recovering from the illness that ruled him out of last weekend’s match against Brisbane.

Past meetings

Most recent meeting: 1 April 2023 – Wellington Phoenix 1 Melbourne Victory 2

All-time A-League head-to-head: Phoenix 11W, Victory 24W & 11D.

How to watch

The game will be broadcast LIVE on Sky Sport 7 in New Zealand and on Paramount+ in Australia.


Game to be played on Friday November 10, 2023

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, 9.45pm (NZT)



Wellington Phoenix (two to be omitted)

3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Fin CONCHIE, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Ben OLD, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Mo AL-TAAY, 14. Alex RUFER (c), 15. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 18. Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 19. Sam SUTTON, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 26. Isaac HUGHES, 30. Alby KELLY-HEALD (gk), 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk), 42. Fergus GILLION, 52. Jackson MANUEL.

Unavailable: 23. Luke SUPYK (U-17 World Cup), 25. Jack DUNCAN (gk) (illness).

Melbourne Victory

2. Jason GERIA, 4. Rai MARCHAN, 5. Damien DA SILVA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8. Zinedine MACHACH, 10. Bruno FORNAROLI, 11. Ben FOLAMI, 14. Connor CHAPMAN, 16. Stefan NIGRO, 17. Nishan VELUPILLAY, 19. Daniel ARZANI, 20. Paul IZZO (gk), 22. Jake BRIMMER, 23. Fabian MONGE, 24. Eli ADAMS, 25. Ryan TEAGUE, 40. Christian SICILIANO (gk).

Unavailable: 3. Adama TRAORE, 21. Roderick MIRANDA (c).


This story is published with the help of the Wellington Phoenix.

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